Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Monday, April 1, 2019

Round Up 24 - 31st March

There was a buzz on the Irish opera scene around the opening on Sunday of Madame Butterfly from Irish National Opera. Not everything was happening in Dublin though and I was delighted to be at Cork Opera House for the first of their season of concert performances. I'll be looking out to hear  more of  countertenor Viktor Priebe. He has a voice that will bring you to then edge of your seat..

@CorkOperaHouse #MarriageofFigaro My report for @irishexaminer here. Looking forward to more G&S and Verdi later

— Fidleir (@fidleir) March 27, 2019

Whinge!.  met a pal in the audience who was annoyed that the Cork Opera House  booking system would not allow her book a single seat if it had a vacant seat next to it reducing her choice of seating. I rarely book tickets preferring to take my chances as a walk up but  I had a similar conversation with a punter at the Theatre Royal in Waterford . who was similar baffled and annoyed when she couldn't book her seat of choice. Is it unfair to single attendees or prudent marketing strategy? What do you think?

I enjoyed talking to Patrick Rafter ahead of some Irish engagements for this article in the Irish Examiner  The young Kilkenny virtuoso was in the NCH on Friday performing with his mentor, the wonderful Russian violinist,  Maxim Vengerov.  I was in the Large Room for the Piano Day Waterford event and I caught up with his performance later. You can watch the video stream on this link here.

Piano Day Waterford.
We were blessed with beautiful weather on Friday and I couldn't drag myself away from the seaside for the daytime piano events in town. It all looked very jolly and I enjoyed catching Killian Browne's  plein air performance on line. See the tweet  below for a link . I did make it in for the evening concert and it was good to hear locally based performers enjoy the wonderful performing space .where Waterford Music welcomes international performers at their monthly series.   Doug Lowe is an excellent  American pianist based in New Ross., I have much enjoyed playing  chamber music  with Doug. Here he was partnered by cellist Ian McHardy,  a stalwart of many ensembles in the South East in Beethoven's Sonata no 2.  Both performers were making their house debut and I hope it won't be too long before I hear them both again here. Marian Ingoldsby wowed the audience with an eclectic selection and her drole spoken introductions. Marian's programme mixed her own compositions with work by Chopin, Mompou, O Suilleabhain  and drew a standing ovation.  An homage to Clara Schumann used some interesting special effects.  A layer of dance from Jess Rowell and others added to my engagement with the experience.

Venue Notes: There were some aspects of the event that marred the event.  I like it when a visual aspect, images or video clip is added to a musical experience but only if it it adds something. Here a busy moving projection displaying the sponsors names was merely distracting. The presence of a perambulating photographer  throughout the entire evening was irritating and gave the impression that the audience outside the room was more important than the one contained within. I would have liked a programme note.

High Plains Tradition.

Independent promoter, John Nyhan has brought so many terrific bluegrass and folk musicians to regional venues. On Saturday at Tramore, Coastguard Station, we heard High Plains Tradition all the way from Colorado. It was good to see the upstairs gallery full for the visitors. The five musicians had a collective senatorial air and apparently  all work in law enforcement when they are not on their annual tour. Nyhan himself lead the audience support from the front row and stepped up to sing a song himself- Freight Train. Check out the Bluegrass in Ireland blog for a comprehensive listing of gigs.

Pub Jam Croke's Bar

I had a lot of fun this week in at informal music evenings in my local pub. The Tramore Ukuklele Group met on Thursday for one of its twice monthly gatherings followed by a mellow song set from the house duo. On Sunday I joined a circle of terrific musicians who gather here usually on the last Sunday of the month for a lively jam that mixed trad, pop and jazz

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