‘Thrilling’ – Kilkenny Arts Festival unveils spectacular programme for 2019
By SINÉAD CONNOLLY
THE Kilkenny Arts Festival Director, Olga Barry, has launched a spectacular festival programme which promises over 11 days of artistic adventures.
The event, one of Ireland leading and longest-running cultural festivals, runs from August 8 – August 18 and will showcase a thrilling and diverse array of theatre, music, literature, exhibitions, talks, dance, spectacle and surprise, performed in the most beautiful and atmospheric buildings.
Festival Director Olga Barry said: “I’m so excited to welcome these extraordinary creators and performers to the Marble City this August. Kilkenny City itself is the ideal festival stage, with its amazing historic spaces and gardens; its compact, medieval cityscape and generous people has always made Kilkenny Arts Festival a simply gorgeous place for artists and audiences to come together easily and creatively. It’s an honour to present this programme along with such stellar creative partners as Rough Magic – with whom we open a new Festival site at the Quad at St. Kieran’s College, Asylum Productions who will bring audiences to the town of Callan, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Martin Hayes, Rollercoaster Records, Poetry Ireland and many more – and it’s a thrill to announce Crash Ensemble’s upcoming residency with an Irish premiere and special take-over at the Courtyard at Rothe House this August.”
Now in its 46th year, it’s considered one of the leading festivals in Ireland, celebrated for its effortless blend of tradition and innovation, and for its electrifying range of events, staged in some of the country’s loveliest venues.
Since its foundation in 1974, Kilkenny Arts Festival has gathered many of the world’s finest musicians, performers, writers and artists in Ireland’s medieval city. For 10 days each August, the city’s historic churches, castle, courtyards, townhouses and gardens offer a magical setting for unique collaborations and intimate encounters between audiences and artists.
Some highlights during the festival include a collaboration with Rough Magic on two new productions: Much Ado About Nothing and Cleft. Another co-production with Asylum Productions will premiere a promenade production of Thomas Kilroy’s novel The Big Chapel staged in Callan itself.
The Irish Chamber Orchestra returns as orchestra in residence for two special performances including Beethoven’s mighty ‘Eroica’ symphony under the baton of Zehetmair and Rollercoaster Records the Festival presents rising stars such as David Keenan along with favourites like Seamus Fogarty. Attendees can immerse themselves in exhibitions, such as the intriguing US artist Amy Cutler at the Butler Gallery and an exciting contemporary design show at the National Design and Craft Gallery.
In partnership with the OPW, the walls of Kilkenny Castle will be lit up with a spectacular light show, with panoramic viewing at the Rose Garden the show is also partially viewable from various vantage points across the city, while KCLR will provide the offsite soundtrack.
Kilkenny Arts Festival is known for bringing artists, musicians and theatre-makers together to create unforgettable moments. The programme is filled with such moments including acclaimed actor Ciarán Hinds who takes to the stage to play narrator, solider and devil in a gripping concert performance of Stravinsky’s masterpiece The Soldier’s Tale, with the Fews Ensemble, led by Joanne Quigley McParland.
This year’s classical music programme offers an exciting mix of debuts and returning talent. This will be the first Irish appearance of the rising star pianist, Alexander Gavryluk, in a mouth-watering programme including work from Brahms, Listz and Mussorgsky. The Festival welcomes back Quatuor Mosaïques for a fresh trio of concerts focusing on some of Beethoven’s greatest string quartets, complemented with works by Mozart and Haydn and Malcolm Proud, offering a programme of Bach at St Canice’s Cathedral.
The visual arts programme will celebrate and explore both what is different and what is shared. The Butler Gallery, in association with the Festival, is delighted to present the first exhibition in Ireland of New York-based artist Amy Cutler whose pairings and pencil on paper words are whimsical allegories illustrating the destructive efforts of the unrealistic expectations that cultures impose on women. In a special event Blaise Smith, Amy Cutler, Eamon Colman will discuss their radically different approaches to their work. Festival goers can also experience two radically different locally-based artists, Eamon Colman and Blaise Smith’s ‘Double Vision’ of the county in their own inimitable styles.
A programme of spoken word will see readings from poet in residence, Don Peterson, and the young artist Mícheál ‘Moley’ O’Súilleabháin while Belfast poet Cherry Smyth, along with composer Ed Bennett and singer Lauren Kinsella, brings her Famished project to the Parade Tower.
Also included in the packed programme are musical events, mini pop-up performances, and family events.
For more information, and to book tickets, log on to: http://www.kilkennyarts.ie