Dingle Feile a glorious treat
"AND after April, when May follows, the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!" wrote Robert Browning, who went on to compose the lines known to every schoolboy and girl: "That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over, lest you should think he never could recapture, the first fine careless rapture!"
Inspired by Browning's rhapsodic poetry and a magical spring, who would not want to be in Dingle next weekend for the 16th Feile na Bealtaine, the unique creation of local doctor, poet and motivator of others, Dr Michael Fanning?
"People have told me that I am mad to take on this responsibility every year," says Michael, "but we need a bit of madness to reclaim ourselves, never more than now."
The Feile opens on Thursday next at Cuas (12.30pm) from where Tim Severin set out on his Brendan voyage, and continues for five days of music, song, poetry, readings, discussions and other celebrations of life.
The theme of the Feile is 'Brendan the Navigator', one of the highlights being the performance by the RTE Concert Orchestra on Sunday next in St Mary's Church, Dingle (8pm), the first half of which, 'Granuaile', features singer Rita Connolly, followed by 'The Brendan Voyage' by Shaun Davey.
Next Saturday, in Ballyferritter Church (8.45pm) the internationally acclaimed soprano from Cork, Cara O'Sullivan, joins the accomplished pianist Finghin Collins for a programme of Faure, Mozart, Aloys Fleischmann, Bach and many others.
"I am really thrilled to have this opportunity of performing with Finghin. He makes the piano sing. Rehearsals have gone wonderfully well," says Cara.
Feile, which has its origin in pagan times, ends on Monday, May 3, with the traditional gathering of the sheep.