The Irish Baroque Orchestra, under Peter Whelan, continue a theme of recent years—begun in 2014 by Whelan with Ensemble Marsyas—of exploring the musical life of 18th-century Dublin. This ongoing project has introduced audiences to works by such figures as Pierre van Maldere, Johann Kusser, Matthew Dubourg, Thomas Roseingrave, and others, revealing the forgotten riches of the city’s musical past.
In its latest instalment, the orchestra produces a programme that draws on music for both the court and the theatre, featuring works by brothers Henry and Daniel Purcell alongside the lesser-known Richard Leveridge.
Dances from Henry Purcell’s opera The Fairy Queen will be heard alongside material from The Island Princess, a hit on the London stage that became the first opera performed in Ireland, at Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre in 1705. One of its creative forces, singer/composer Richard Leveridge, also produced a work for Dublin Castle, the court ode ‘Welcome, Genial Day!’ This piece was recently re-discovered by Maynooth musicologist Estelle Murphy and will be performed—probably for the first time in over 300 years—with Henry Purcell’s centenary ode for Trinity College, ‘Great Parent, Hail’, and one of Purcell’s last works, ‘Come, Ye Sons of Art’.
With soloists Rachel Redmond, Aisling Kenny, Benjamin Williamson, Jorge Navarro Colorado, and Edward Grint, ‘Come Ye Sons of Art’ will be performed at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin, Saturday 26 January, at 7.30pm – more info and tickets (€25/€20/€10/€5)