Tuesday 20 February 2018

Tenth baroque festival set to be the best yet

Hubert Murphy

THE TENTH annual Ardee Baroque Festival promises to be one of the best ever with a series of concerts and events planned over three days from November 14-17.

Back in 2004, the first Ardee Baroque was unveiled, with the Irish Baroque Orchestra (IBO) decamping to the town for rehearsals and two full concerts.

This year, the IBO will return for rehearsals and two full concerts, having been an ever-present at the festival since its inception. The work of Georg Philipp Telelmann is the inspiration for the IBO's programme, with both concerts being completed by two pieces from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'.

'The Vivaldi pieces are the icing on the tenth birthday cake", says County Arts Officer, and founder of Ardee Baroque, Brian Harten. 'The IBO were with us at the beginning, and it's great to welcome them back again. For many people in the town, it's like welcoming old friends home.'

While there have been constants in the festival programme, such as the IBO, a major part of Ardee Baroque's success has been the diverse range of singers and musicians who have performed during the ten years.

'What's great is that we've managed to bring the finest of performers to the town, both from Ireland, and from the UK, continental Europe, and the United States', says John Rowntree, Chairman of the Board of Ardee Baroque. 'While it may be a small festival, we think it's perfectly formed, and we've managed to combine great music with a welcoming and informal atmosphere.'

This year, the Irish Youth Opera make their first public performance with a concert entitled 'Striking like a Thunderbolt' in St Mary's Church at 8pm on the 16th.

'Hang the Harpers ... .' will see two young Louth-based musicians, Conal Duffy and Michael O'Neill, perform music composed in Ireland during the 17th and 18th centuries. They play the courtroom in Ardee Castle on November 16th at 2.30pm.

The Labyrinth of Versailles is also on Saturday the 16th, a special concert for families in Scoil Mhuire na Trócaire, at 5pm, featuring music associated with the great fairytales.

Continuing with the theme of music for young people, the Library in Ardee is the place to be on the Saturday morning, when Kids Classics, directed by cellist Grainne Hope, presents a workshop for children from 11am and it's free.

Ardee Baroque '13 draws to a close with IBO's second concert featuring the music of Teleman on November 17th at 7pm in St Mary's.

The opening night on Friday November 15th at 8pm, sees a concert by the Baroque orchestra in St Mary's.

For times, venues and ticket prices for Ardee Baroque '13, see

Drogheda Independent

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