We are brother and sister David Sheehan and Aideen McBride and we have a story ... about telling a story. Here's what Aideen says...
For years I had a dream of scoring for an orchestra. As a professional storyteller, I have told tales around the country in both Irish and English and picked up a few along the way. Whenever I came across an interesting story I would ask, would this make a good opera? Then I came across an old Irish legend called "The Sons of Tuireann". It had everything a good opera wanted, tragedy, honour, battles, love, a whole spectrum of emotion. I knew this was the right story.
The story tells the tale of three brothers who, after committing a foul crime, must pay for it by travelling to lands and collecting seven strange objects. Along the way, they face death and danger in trying to regain their honour.
So I went to my brother David. He is a sound engineer and composer and had been in a band for years. I told him about the idea , about the story and how it might transform into an Opera. We both talked long about it, getting more excited by the minute. We realised something. Both of us wanted to create a work that
1. was in the Irish language
2. infused styles of both traditional and classical
3. Included traditional styles and instruments from different countries.
And so began our journey and the journey of our opera "CLANN TUIREANN". Neither of us has a background in Opera but both of us have a passion for music. Both of us researched different styles and Operatic pieces, discussing at length arrangement, instrumentation, vocals, emotion, and so on. We met with conductors, musicians and other composers to ask advice and guidance. Mistakes have been made along our journey, lessons have been learned and we have melted our creative styles together. It has become the most astounding and electrifying creative experience that we have ever had.
Last April (thanks to funding from Foras na Gaeilge and Carlow County Council,) saw the premiere of the first extract from the Opera which was performed at the Pan Celtic Festival in Carlow by the Carlow Youth Orchestra, Aspiro and solo tenor Stephen Harland. It was an exhilarating experience. It squashed all doubts we had and accelerated us forward.
And so to our second workshop. This will take place on 27th October in the Axis Centre, Ballymun and we need your help. In order to get our music from sheet to ear, we need to raise money to hire the musicians and vocalists. We are going to have small ensemble of eight including uileann pipes, string quartet , flutes and clarinet. We also will have three male and three female singers and one sean-nós singer.
Thank you for reading this and hope that you can help us continue to realise our dream.
Dave and Aideen