The Kilkenny Arts Festival takes place from 9–17 August. This year the festival celebrates its 40th year and features a number of new music events, including among others a residency by the Crash Ensemble, and a preview of Roger Doyle’s new opera.
Crash Ensemble, directed by Kate Ellis and Donnacha Dennehy, present a number of concerts as part of their mini residency. Their own concert on 16 August at St Canice’s Cathedral sees them joined by US soprano – and regular collaborator for Dennehy – Dawn Upshaw. The programme features the premiere of a new commission by American composer Michael Gordon, Dry, and will also include a past commission by Nico Muhly, as well as Dennehy’s 2010 work That the Night Come. Dennehy’s solo violin work Overstrung is also included in a concert by American violinist Courtney Orlando on 17 August in The Hole in the Wall.
Also on the programme is Soundworks, a bespoke installation in the grounds of the Heritage Council, curated by Crash in collaboration with CMC. This aural experience features electroacoustic works by David Collier, Fergus Kelly, Judith Ring and Gordon Delap, each of which was chosen through an open call for works.
A new work by Ian Wilson sees a collaboration between three jazz musicians, Ronan Guilfoyle (bass), Cathal Roche (sax) and Matthew Jacobson (drums) and the ConTempo Quartet. Billed as a jazz/classical fusion concerto, The Hours brings the listener on a journey through a single day of monastic prayer times. This event takes place on 13 August at 1pm at St. John’s Priory.
Burned, a fully-staged concert of works by Roger Doyle on 14 August at the Watergate Theatre will include the first act of a new opera by Doyle to be premiered later this year. The opera The Death by Fire of Giordano is based on the life and works of Renaissance philosopher/mathematician Giordano Bruno, with a libretto by Jocelyn Clarke and stage direction by Eric Fraad. .
Kaleidoscope Night also return to the festival on 12 August in the Left Bank with a diverse programme celebrating 500 years of European and Irish music, including a performance of Judith Ring’s Up to My F-Holes by Kate Ellis, a well as a selection of 17th-century music and works by Mozart and Ligeti.
For further information and booking: www.kilkennyarts.ie
Listen to an extract from Roger Doyle’s The Death by Fire of Giordano