A new international concert series hosted in Wicklow Parish Church called 'The Church Of The Vine' features five concerts, the first of which took place last October.
The exciting initiative is in association with Wicklow Church of Ireland Parish and curated by musical director, Anthony Norton. The four remaining concerts will feature both local and international artists of significant calibre and prestige.
The church has a splendid acoustic which is ideal for performances of chamber music and vocal ensembles and has in the past hosted international chamber orchestras, soloists and choirs on tour in Ireland.
The first concert held in October was performed by 'Passion' featuring jazz violinist Pat Collins of the immensely successful Café Orchestra, Drazen Derek the superb Croatian jazz guitarist regularly featured with The Chieftains, and international tenor Anthony Norton who has performed with major opera houses throughout Europe. 'Passion's' performance included songs from film, stage and cabaret celebrating, Piaf, Brel, Gardel, Rota, and songs from Italy, France, Spain and Argentina as well as gypsy - jazz and standards from the American song book.
On February 7, audience members will be taken on a journey through the beguiling and atmospheric music for guitar, lute and voice of the 16th and 17th centuries. One of Europe's leading exponents of the Baroque and early Classical guitar, Ashford resident, Eamonn Sweeney will partner one of Ireland's rising stars, the soprano Lorna Breen. Eamonn has toured globally performing as a soloist and with various early music ensembles, he will be joined by the prize-winning young vocal artist in performances of songs and arias by Vivaldi, Caccini, Handel, Purcell and many more composers from the Baroque and Classical eras.
March 13 will feature the Dutch pianist and organist Klaas Jan de Vries accompanying the Irish lyric tenor Jack Kinkead in a recital of Art songs from the 19th and 20th century featuring the poetry of Thomas Hardy and the music of Gerald Finzi amongst others. This music charms with an ageless beauty the evocative texts of great Romantic poetry.
On April 24, the Vine International Concert Series presents Prince Ibukun Tunde Olatunji, a chief from the Ekiti estates in Nigeria. Having grown up in the United Kingdom, estranged from his family of origin; Tunde became an actor, writer and poet producing work for theatre, dance and orchestral performances. Upon being introduced to his tribal home and family, Tunde was inspired to create a series of epic poems celebrating the land of his origin and its extraordinary pantheon of gods and mythology. Tunde will perform selections from his writing accompanied by the exceptional Japanese concert pianist and improviser, Izumi Kimura.
The final performance of the series will be given by the internationally renowned Irish Mezzo-Soprano, Victoria Massey. Now based in Venice and a regular solo artist at La Fenice and on many operatic stages throughout Europe, Victoria Massey will give a rare opportunity for an Irish audience to here this wonderful artist. The Vine International Concert Series is delighted that Victoria Massey will be able to perform in its inaugural programme.
All the performances in this series will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets will be available in advance from www.gr8events.ie or on the door. Costs are €20, €15 for students, young people (16 or under) accompanied by an adult enter free of charge.
Ticket holders for these concerts may avail of the pre-concert menu at La Locandina restaurant in Wicklow town between 5.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. on the evening of the performances.