Comhaltas at Barbican Centre

Comhaltas at Barbican Centre
MACALLA 1916: An Echo of The Past… A Vision for The Future

To mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann will perform a special presentation of MACALLA 1916. This is a new suite of music composed by Michael Rooney, performed by the Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of 55 traditional and classical musicians. The MACALLA 1916 suite, while reflecting on this seminal event in Irish history will also place The Easter Rising in the context of Ireland’s story from Famine to present times. Michael Rooney, widely reputed as one of the foremost traditional composers of our time, has composed seven major suites of music, most recently BORÓIMHE. The London performance will be followed by a nationwide concert tour of MACALLA 1916 over Easter 2016. Macalla 1916 will be directed by Ray Conway.

The musical motifs will be:

  • The Famine in 1847 is seismic in Irish history – the music will take this as its starting point and how this influenced the periods of unrest for the next 50 years.
  • The Gaelic revival at the turn of the Century – reflecting on the language, dance, music and literature.
  • The formation of the Gaelic League, the GAA and other Cultural Institutions and the revolutionary movement.
  • The First World War and the dichotomy in Ireland.
  • Easter 1916 itself and the road to independence.
  • Ireland’s development through the ‘40’s and ‘50’s and our entry into the League of Nations.
  • The Northern Traditions and the dawn of reconciliation.
  • Ireland’s entry into the E.U. in the ‘70s and the influence Ireland has had on European and World Culture up to the present day.

At the launch of ‘Macalla 1916’ An Echo of the Past – A Vision For the Future, the Comhaltas 1916 Centenary Programme Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú, Ardstiúrthóir CCÉ placed Comhaltas’ contribution to Ireland 1916 in its appropriate cultural context stating:

‘Our cultural identity was central to the aspirations and motivation of the 1916 Easter Rising. This was evident in the poetry, songs and writings of the leadership and others. This is encapsulated in the slogan ‘Éire ní hamháin saor ach Gaelach chomh maith’. This cultural emphasis is reflected in the ethos of Comhaltas and will define our extensive centenary programme at home and worldwide’.

More info on all the 1916 projects on the website


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