Peadar's new work to get the Presidential seal of approval
Uachtarán na hÉireann set to attend premier of Ó Riada's latest masterpiece
The première of a new work by the celebrated composer and musician Peadar Ó Riada is always a special occasion that anyone with a love for Irish traditions and music look forward to with unbridled anticipation.
One of Ireland's most prolific writers and performers, the Cuil Aodha native is quite rightly regarded as something of a national treasure and has been an inspirational figure to many young musicians who have followed in his footsteps.
It will come as no surprise that his latest work, which will be launched by Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D Higgins at the Ionad Cultúrtha an Dr Ó Loinsigh in Baile Mhúirne on Saturday, March 24, has garnered huge interest both locally and nationally.
Commissioned by Oireachtas na Gaeilge with support from the Arts Council, 'Fianna Éireann' is a stunning piece that brings to life the story of the legendary Fionn Mac Cumhail and his warriors, The Fianna.
Anyone familiar with Irish myth and legend will be familiar with the story Fionn Mac Cumhail and the Fianna, his band of warriors who spent their time in warfare, hunting and adventures in the other world and their leader.
In his pursuit of fulfilling a lifelong dream to present their story through the medium of music and inspired by the ancient Indian epic 'Mahabarata', Peadar asked the late Irish language scholar, poet and priest Professor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta to write an epic based on the Fianna Cycle.
He drew all of the Fianna stories together in his epic poem 'Fianna Éireann', with Peadar subsequently penning a musical score suited to the open metre of the poetry.
For the première Peadar will be accompanied on the stage of the Ionad Cultúrtha by Na Reacairi, a collective comprised of some of Ireland's finest traditional musicians including Mick O'Brien, Steve Cooney, Aidan Connolly, Tommy Hayes and Oisín Morrison.
Speaking ahead of the big night Peadar said he was looking forward to seeing his labour of love being performed for the first time in public.
"With the help of God and this little band of fine musicians around me, we will present the story of Fianna Éireann to the people. Within it, people will find everything that we Irish understand about truth and lies, heroism and cowardice, good and evil and what makes a good person and bad person," he said.
"In this day and age, where science is the new religion, there is no direction or morality woven through contemporary life. This is a step towards our ancestral cultural home - perhaps."
Tickets for what promises to be a unique, inspiring, moving and magical night of music and drama are available from the Ionad Cultúrtha on 026 45733 priced at €20.
Prior to the 8.30pm performance Pádraig Ó Héalaí will deliver a lecture about Fr Pádraig Ó Fiannachta entitled 'An Fear, a Dhúchas agus a Ghaisce' at the venue from 6pm.