Kilkenny Arts Festival 2018

 Photo Cormac Larkin   

Photo Cormac Larkin

 

 

Dreams and Discoveries in Ireland’s Medieval City

Kilkenny Arts Festival, 9-19 August 2018

Full programme on sale now at kilkennyarts.ie

 

 

A festival of firsts and experiences to treasure

Shakespeare in the Castle Yard | Monteverdi’s operatic masterpiece

Brahms in the Afternoon & Later Beethoven | Marble City Sessions

Stephen Rea performs Derek Mahon | Architecture: Kilkenny Visions

Dance and Aerial World Premieres | and much more…

 

 

Ireland’s oldest multidisciplinary arts festival reveals a scintillating, wide-ranging programme for its 45th edition this August.  With a series of world premiere productions and Festival commissions, immersive music series to dive or dip into, a new take a much-loved Shakespeare comedy, the first-ever Irish staging of one of the greatest operas, unmissable exhibitions and a host of talks, debate and discussion - the 2018 Kilkenny Arts Festival offers new ideas and unforgettable experiences to enchant audiences of all kinds.

 

Hosting a mouth-watering programme of events and a cast of top international and national names, the real star of the Festival is the city of Kilkenny itself. With its atmospheric spaces and narrow streets, few festivals in the world can boast such evocative spaces, echoing their history but ideal for performance and embracing the audiences of today.

 

Kilkenny Arts Festival 2018 will feature several firsts. The Festival returns to the magical Castle Yard with a bold new take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a co-production with Rough Magic, the first time a production has been specially created for this unique open-air space. Always a big hit with locals and visitors alike, Shakespeare in the Castle Yard promises a fabulously funny and magical night under the stars with a brilliant young Irish cast directed by Lynne Parker.

 

This year also sees the Festival present its first full-scale staged opera, The Return of Ulysses, Claudio Monteverdi’s magnificent retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, never before staged in Ireland. Co-produced with Opera Collective Ireland and featuring the renowned Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, The Return of Ulysses brings together a world-class creative team led by Tony Award-winning director Patrick Mason and the Festival’s regular operatic partner, conductor Christian Curnyn.

 

The Festival will also present world premiere productions of two new Festival commissions: Inventions, by Irish Modern Dance Theatre set in the former Carlton Ballroom with an international cast led by the legendary Valda Setterfield and Oona Doherty; and The Lightkeepers’ Last Stand, a free aerial circus show for all ages by the awe-inspiring Loosysmokes, playing in Kilkenny Castle Park twice daily.

 

The music programme offers a more diverse range of concerts than ever, from morning till late at night: Brahms in the Afternoon, a ten-day journey through the chamber music masterpieces of the great romantic composer featuring leading classical stars from far and near; Later Beethoven, a three-concert series by the Festival’s resident ensemble, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, contrasting Beethoven’s astonishing later works with thrilling 21st-century compositions; mesmeric musical collaborations in the Marble City Sessions hosted by renowned fiddler Martin Hayes; and a mouth-watering series of ‘beyond genre’ artists, including a new jazz series - the Sofa Sessions - and a special celebration of the late Kilkenny music legend Willie Meighan in partnership with the city’s famous Rollercoaster Records.

 

Actor Stephen Rea returns to the Festival to perform Derek Mahon’s epic poetic sequence New York Time in the premiere of a new musical setting, and the great Eavan Boland is the Festival’s poet in residence. In the Spoken Word strand the Festival delves into contemporary issues like fake news and Brexit and pulls at the loose threads of history with fresh thinking on iconic Irish heroes, featuring a roster of national and international guests including Newsnight presenter Evan Davis, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and doyenne of Irish diplomacy Anne Anderson.

 

Exhibitions of art and design include stunning new shows at the Butler Gallery and the National Design & Craft Gallery, while architecture is prominent this year with Kilkenny Visions, a thought-provoking exhibition of new plans for Kilkenny’s cultural future in partnership with the UCD School of Architecture, and a much-anticipated lecture from Irish architectural stars Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, curators of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.

 

The Festival’s hugely popular series of Secret Garden free pop-up performances returns twice daily in a trail of exquisite historic gardens across the city, and bursts out onto High Street for the first time on both weekends.

 

Launching this year’s programme at the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery in Dublin - surrounded by the portraits artist Mick O’Dea produced live at the Festival in his residency from 2015-17 - Festival Director Eugene Downes said: “We want to invite everyone, young and old, to join us in wonderful, historic Kilkenny for eleven days of unmissable experiences, day and evening, indoors and out. You’ll discover heart-stopping performances and encounter world-renowned artists in some of Ireland’s most magical spaces.”

 

Full programme now on sale | Full details at kilkennyarts.ie

 

 

THEATRE, OPERA & DANCE

 

ROUGH MAGIC & KILKENNY ARTS FESTIVAL

NEW PRODUCTION PREMIERE

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

By William Shakespeare

Director: Lynne Parker

Lighting & Set Design: Sarah Jane Shiels

Costume Design: Katie Davenport

Sound Design & Composition: Denis Clohessy

Cast: Martha Breen, Amy Conroy, Peter Corboy, Aoibhéann McCann, Karen McCartney, Paul Mescal, Conor O’Riordan & Kieran Roche

9 August, 8pm (preview)

10-12 & 14-18 August, 8pm

Castle Yard

 

OPERA COLLECTIVE IRELAND & KILKENNY ARTS FESTIVAL

IRISH PREMIERE PRODUCTION

THE RETURN OF ULYSSES

by Claudio Monteverdi

with Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Director: Patrick Mason

Conductor: Christian Curnyn

Set & Lighting Design: Paul Keogan

Costume Design: Catherine Fay

Cast: Eoin Conway, Brendan Collins, Rachel Goode, Emma Morwood, Andrew Boushell, Alan Ewing, Gyula Nagy, Raphaela Mangan, Andrew Gavin, Peter Harris, Rory Musgrave, Bríd Ní Ghruagáin, Ross Scanlon & Margaret Bridge

9 & 10 August, 7pm

12 August, 3pm

Watergate Theatre

 

WORLD PREMIERE/FESTIVAL COMMISSION

IRISH MODERN DANCE THEATRE

INVENTIONS

Choreography: John Scott

Soundscape: Tom Lane

Design & Lighting: Eric Würtz

Dancers: Ashley Chen, Kevin Coquelard, Oona Doherty, Valda Setterfield, Mufutau Yusuf

17-18 August, 6pm & 10pm

19 August, 9pm

Carlton Ballroom

 

 

 

MUSIC

 

SERIES: BRAHMS IN THE AFTERNOON

 

PIANO WORKS

Finghin Collins (piano)

10 August, 5pm

St John’s Priory

 

Programme

Rhapsodies Op. 79

Six Pieces Op. 118

Four Pieces Op. 119  

 

PIANO TRIOS & QUARTETS

Finghin Collins (piano), Katherine Hunka (violin),

Cian Ó Dúill (viola), Christian Elliot (cello)

11 & 12 August, 1pm

St John’s Priory

 

Programme I

Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8

Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60

 

Programme II

Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 101

Piano Quartet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 26

 

CELLO SONATAS

Christian Elliot (cello), Finghin Collins (piano)

13 August, 1pm

St John’s Priory

 

Programme

Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 28

Cello Sonata No. 2 in F Major, Op. 99

 

PIANO DUOS

Pavel Kolesnikov & Samson Tsoy (piano)

14 August, 1pm

St John’s Priory

 

Programme

Variations on a Theme of Handel, Op. 24

Valses, Op. 39

Variations on a Theme of Schumann, Op. 23

 

 

ORGAN PRELUDES

Malcolm Proud

15 August, 1pm

St Canice’s Cathedral

 

Programme

Eleven Chorale Preludes, Op. 122

 

VIOLA SONATAS

Timothy Ridout (viola), Pavel Kolesnikov (piano)

16 August, 1pm

 

Programme

Viola Sonatas Nos 1 & 2, Op. 120

Three Intermezzi for Piano, Op. 117

 

STRING QUARTETS & QUINTETS

Quatuor Voce (France): Sarah Dayan & Cécile Roubin (violins), Guillaume Becker (viola), Lydia Shelley (cello)

& guests

Hélène Desaint (viola)

and Florent Héau (clarinet)

17-19 August, 1pm

 

Programme I (17 August)

String Quartet No. 3 in B flat Major, Op. 67

Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

 

Programme II (18 August)

String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51, No. 1

String Quintet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111

 

Programme III (19 August)

String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2

String Quintet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 88

 

 

SERIES: LATER BEETHOVEN

Featuring the IRISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Resident orchestra of Kilkenny Arts Festival

 

Programme I

Katherine Hunka & Christian Elliot (directors)

Alex Petcu-Colan (percussion)

10 August, 8pm

St Canice’s Cathedral

 

Sam Perkin: Waves

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 13 in B Flat Major, Op. 130 (orchestral version)

 

Programme II

Katherine Hunka & Christian Elliot (directors)

14 August, 8pm

Watergate Theatre

 

Sam Perkin: Nimbus

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 (orchestral version) 

 

Programme III

Jörg Widmann (conductor) (Germany)

Carolin Widmann (violin) (Germany)

18 August, 7.30pm

St Canice’s Cathedral

 

Widmann: Con Brio

Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

 

OTHER CLASSICAL CONCERTS

 

AKADEMIE FÜR ALTE MUSIK BERLIN (Germany)

11 August, 8pm

St Canice’s Cathedral

Georg Kallweit (director/leader)

 

Programme

Monteverdi’s Italy: The Rise of Instrumental Music

Works by Bertali, Uccellini, Caccini, Falconieri, Valentini, Mealli, Marini,

Legrenzi, Ferrari, Monteverdi & Biber

 

BACH: THE VIOLIN SONATAS & PARTITAS

Johnny Gandelsman (USA/Russia)

13 August, 7.30pm

St Canice’s RC Church

 

Programme

Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for Violin BWV 1001-06

 

PEREGRYNE

12 August, 9pm

St Canice’s RC Church

 

Programme

Sacred Hours: Renaissance Choral Works

Works by Monteverdi, Victoria, Venosa, Rihm, Lassus & Browne

 

BENJAMIN APPL & PAVEL KOLESNIKOV (Germany/Russia)

17 August, 8pm

St Canice’s Cathedral

 

Programme

Songs by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms & Grieg

 

CHAMBER CHOIR IRELAND

Paul Hillier (conductor)

18 August, 10pm

St Canice’s RC Church

 

Programme

Works by Palestrina, Knüpfer, Isaac, Brahms & Bach

 

SERIES: THE SOFA SESSIONS

 

Chris Guilfoyle’s

SUPERUMBRA

Theo Bleckmann (voice), Nils Wogram (trombone) & John O’Gallagher (saxophone)

Umbra: Chris Guilfoyle (guitar), Sam Comerford (saxophones), Chris Engel (saxophones), Barry Donoghue (bass) & Matthew Jacobson (drums)

15 August, 10pm

Set Theatre

 

 

The Sofa Sessions at Billy Byrne’s:

 

CHRIS GUILFOYLE ORGAN TRIO

14 August, 6pm

Billy Byrne’s

 

JOHN O’GALLAGHER ‘CLUB’ SET

14 August, 10pm

Billy Byrne’s

 

GUILFOYLE/ENGEL/JACOBSON

16 August, 6pm

Billy Byrne’s

 

NILS WOGRAM ‘CLUB’ SET

16 August, 10pm

Billy Byrne’s

 

OXYGEN THIEF

17 August, 6pm

Billy Byrne’s

 

THEO BLECKMANN ‘CLUB’ SET

17 August, 10pm

Billy Byrne’s

 

SERIES: THE MARBLE CITY SESSIONS

 

LIZ KNOWLES (USA)

14 August, 10pm

Rothe House

 

MARTIN HAYES QUARTET (USA/Ireland)

16 August, 7.30pm

St Canice’s Cathedral

 

MAYA YOUSSEF (Syria)

16 August, 10pm

Set Theatre

 

CAMILLE O’SULLIVAN

17 August, 10pm

Set Theatre

 

GLEN HANSARD

18 August, 9pm

Set Theatre

 

LIAM BYRNE & CLEEK SCHREY (Ireland/USA)

19 August, 11am

Parade Tower

 

FESTIVAL FINALE

Hosted by Martin Hayes

Featuring: Liam Byrne, Dennis Cahill, Brian Connor, Kate Ellis, Stephanie Keane, Liz Knowles, Neil Martin, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Malcolm Proud, Stephen Rea, Cleek Schrey & Doug Wieselman

19 August, 7.30pm

St Canice’s Cathedral

 

OTHER CONCERTS

 

DECLAN O’ROURKE

10 August, 10pm

Set Theatre

 

AILBHE REDDY & MARC O’REILLY

11 August, 9pm

Set Theatre

 

THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT:

A CELEBRATION OF WILLIE MEIGHAN

with

Yorkston/Thorne/Khan (UK/India)

The Lost Brothers

Malojian

15 August, 7.30pm

St Canice’s Cathedral

 

 

PERFORMANCE

 

IRISH PREMIERE

SHINING ARMOUR

By Burnside, Brahms & Tieck

15 August, 8pm

Watergate Theatre

 

Stephen Rea performs

NEW YORK TIME

By Derek Mahon

With a new score by Neil Martin

Performed by Brian Connor

17 August, 6pm

18 August, 4pm

Watergate Theatre

 

SPOKEN WORD

 

SERIES: THE BIG CHAPEL PROJECT

 

THOMAS KILROY

In Conversation with Olivia O’Leary

13 August, 11am

Parade Tower

 

ONE COUNTY ONE BOOK

15 August, 7pm

Fennelly’s Bar, Callan

 

SERIES: TWO IRISH TITANS

 

WELLINGTON & O’CONNELL: THE MEN BEHIND THE MYTHS

Eoghan Harris

11 August, 11am

Parade Tower

 

THE LIBERATORS: DANIEL O’CONNELL TO MARTIN LUTHER KING

Patrick Geoghegan & Fintan O’Toole

16 August, 6pm

Parade Tower

 

WELLINGTON’S IRISH ARMY

David Murphy & Marcus de la Poer Beresford

17 August, 11am

Parade Tower

 

SERIES: A TURBULENT WORLD

Three Talks on Ireland’s International Prospects in Uncertain Times

 

NEGOTIATING THE FUTURE

Bertie Ahern

In Conversation with David Davin-Power

13 August, 5.30pm

St Canice’s Cathedral

 

DIPLOMACY IN THE AGE OF TRUMP

Anne Anderson

15 August, 6pm

Parade Tower

 

BREXIT: WHAT NEXT?

Denis Staunton

18 August, 6pm

Parade Tower

 

SERIES: KILKENNY SECRET HISTORIES

 

A KILKENNY BIG HOUSE CHILDHOOD

Caroline & Jane Blunden

14 August, 11am

Parade Tower

 

REVOLUTIONARY KILKENNY

Eoin Swithin Walsh

15 August, 11am

Parade Tower

 

OTHER SPOKEN WORD

 

BRAHMS AND THE IRISH CONNECTION

Gerry Murphy

10 August, 3pm

Parade Tower

 

CREATIVE VISIONS FOR KILKENNY

Sheila O’Donnell & John Tuomey

11 August, 6pm

Parade Tower

 

HOMER TODAY: GREEK CULTURE THROUGH THE AGES

Lydia Koniordou (Greece)

12 August, 11am

Parade Tower

 

The Hubert Butler Annual Lecture

POST-TRUTH

EVAN DAVIS (UK)

Introduced by Olivia O’Leary

12 August, 5.30pm

St Canice’s Cathedral

 

FREESPACE

Yvonne Farrell & Shelley McNamara

14 August, 6pm

Parade Tower

 

KILKENNY POETRY BROADSHEET

Launched by Eavan Boland

16 August, 3pm

Parade Tower

 

Poet in Residence

EAVAN BOLAND

Introduced by Maureen Kennelly

17 August, 4pm

Parade Tower

 

CELEBRATING DEREK MAHON

Peter Fallon, Maureen Kennelly & Stephen Rea

18 August, 11am

Parade Tower

 

PARABLES OF A HIDDEN HISTORY

Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley in Conversation

18 August, 3pm

Parade Tower

 

OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE

 

WORLD PREMIERE/FESTIVAL COMMISSION

THE LIGHTKEEPERS’ LAST STAND

Loosysmokes

11-12 & 15-18 August, 2pm & 4.30pm

14 August, 2pm

19 August, 12pm

Castle Park

 

SECRET GARDEN MUSIC

Gazebo, Butler House Garden

11, 14, 16 August, 4pm

 

Castle Rose Garden

14 August, 3pm

12, 18 August, 4pm

 

Rothe House Garden

13, 15, 19 August, 4pm

 

Stone Circle, Butler House Garden

13, 16, 19 August, 3pm

 

Heritage Council Garden

15 August, 3pm

17 August, 4pm

 

FESTIVAL FUN ON THE HIGH STREET

11, 12, 17, 18 August, see website for times

Tholsel, High Street

 

 

VISUAL ART, DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE

 

I SMELLED A RAW RECRUIT:

The World War Films of Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley

11-19 August, 10am-5.30pm

Butler Gallery

Opening: 11 August, 3pm

 

.OBJ: DIGITAL HANDMADE

Curated by Nora O Murchú

Exhibitors: Faig Ahmed, Common Works, Digital Nature Group, FIELD, Ying Gao, Sebastian Kite, David O’Reilly, Daniel Rozin, threadstories, Owen Quinlan, Marius Watz, Zeitguised, Zimoun

11, 13-18 August, 10am-5.30pm

12 August, 11am-5.30pm

National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard

Opening: 11 August, 2pm

 

KILKENNY ARTS FESTIVAL & UCD SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE

KILKENNY VISIONS

11-19 August, 10.30am-5pm

Rothe House

Opening: 11 August, 12pm

 

ENDS

Press information: Sinead O’Doherty, Gerry Lundberg, O’Doherty Communications

T: +353 1 679 8476 / + 353 86 259 1070   sinead@odohertycommunications.com