the second year in sucession the Chicago based Old St Pats Church
will feature a Shaun Davey work as the centerpiece of their Siamsa
na nGael festival. Following the outstanding success of The Pilgrim
last year they will this year be featuring Shaun Davey's Granuaile.
concert will be held at the Chicago Symphony Center and will feature
the star of last year's concert Rita
Connolly whose amazing voice won her many new fans in the
Chicago area last year.
Tickets will go on sale from Old St Pats from February 9, 2004.
For more information see oldstpats.org.
In the turbulent story of the 16th century Irish seafaring chieftain,
Grace O' Malley - with all its passion adventure, drama and pain
Shaun Davey found an ideal subject for his lyrical, evocative, highly
In Rita Connolly, with a voice of the purity of crystal, he found
the ideal Grace O'Malley. Together they have made the legend of
'Granuaile' (Grace O'Malley in Irish) come vividly to life. 'The
Granuaile Suite' (1985) sets an episode of Irish history in the
context of wider European history through a work which appeals to
music lovers of all ages. One song in the cycle, 'Ripples in the
Rockpools' quickly became a popular classic and is now in the official
Irish school syllabus.
'Granuaile' distills the essence of this indomitable woman whose
galleys ruled the seas off Western Ireland during the times of Elizabethan
conquests. Curiously enough, no contemporary ballads celebrating
her story have come down to us. The suite fills this gap in traditional
musical history, portraying her defence of her territory, her seafaring
exploits, he dismissal of her husband, the death of her lover in
battle, her compassion for the men of the Spanish Armada who perished
in the sea along the coast of Western Ireland. It tells of her persecution
at the hands of the notorious Governor of Connaught and of her daring
voyage to England to protest that persecution in a confrontation
with Queen Elizabeth I.
The sound of 'Granuaile' is unique, produced by a chamber orchestra
comprised of 35 classical musicians joined by uilleann pipes, acoustic
guitar, Irish harp and percussion.