Press Releases

RTÉ Concert Orchestra, August at the National Concert Hall

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s August evening concerts at the National Concert Hall feature an exciting line-up of guests, among them legendary French film composer Michel Legrand, Anthony Andrews of Brideshead Revisited fame, Riverdance composer Bill Whelan, and West End, Broadway and TV star Julian Ovenden. Multi-million-selling tenor Russell Watson will give a concert rescheduled from April, when the ash cloud disruption led to a last-minute cancellation. The RTÉ CO’s Summer Lunchtime Concerts run on Tuesdays throughout the month, each introduced by an RTÉ lyric fm presenter.

At a Glance – Evening Concerts

Julian Ovenden, star of The Royal and Foyle’s War and top West End performer, celebrates Broadway’s Great Romantics – Friday 6 August, 8pm

Anthony Andrews, Annalene Beechey, David Burt and Julian Ovenden star in a concert version of My Fair Lady – Friday 13 & Saturday 14 August, 8pm

Michel Legrand is the conductor, pianist and singer in an evening of his classic film music, with his wife, harpist Catherine Michel, as special guest – Friday 20 August, 8pm

Singing phenomenon Russell Watson, with guest choir New Dublin Voices, appears as part of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s Signature Series – Sunday 22 August, 8pm

Bill Whelan is the special guest at a celebration of his music, with Irish and international singers, players and dancers including Julie Feeney, Zoë Conway and Declan Masterson, presenter Ellen Cranitch – Friday 27 August, 8pm

At a Glance – Lunchtime Concerts

Niall Carroll presents a concert including music by Suppé, Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Waldteufel, with mezzo-soprano Anne Marie Gibbons – Tuesday 3 August, 1.05pm

Eileen Dunne presents a concert including Debussy’s Clair de Lune, a Dvorák Romance with violinist Mia Cooper and Coates’ London Suite – Tuesday 10 August, 1.05pm

Paul Herriott presents a concert including music by Mozart and Elgar from mezzo Sharon Carty and a Brahms Hungarian Dance – Tuesday 17 August, 1.05pm

Liz Nolan presents a concert including four stunning arias from soprano Mary O’Sullivan and the passionate Intermezzo from Manon Lescaut – Tuesday 24 August, 1.05pm

Carl Corcoran presents a concert including the Dance of the Comedians and a Mozart horn concerto with Cormac Ó hAodáin – Tuesday 31 August, 1.05pm

Full programme details below.


RTÉ Summer Lunchtime Concert

Tuesday 3 August, 1.05pm

Enjoy a spectacular free pre-concert performance by the Alphorn Academy of Switzerland in the foyer of the National Concert Hall, 12.30–12.50pm.

Suppé Light Cavalry Overture

Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte

Massenet ‘Je vous écris de ma petite chambre’ (Letter Scene aria) from Werther
Waldteufel Les Patineurs (Skaters’ Waltz)

Saint-Saëns ‘Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix’ from Samson and Delilah
Gounod Ballet Music from Faust

Anne Marie Gibbons mezzo-soprano ? John Wilson conductor ? Niall Carroll presenter

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra sounds the bugle and charges into August with the Light Cavalry Overture, with its famous galloping melody. Wonderful Irish mezzo Anne Marie Gibbons sings two gems of the repertoire, the beautiful ‘Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix’, known in English as ‘Softly awakes my heart’, and the passionate Letter Scene aria from Werther. Ravel described his Pavane for a Dead Princess as an evocation of a pavane that a little princess might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court. The dance strand continues with the Skaters’ Waltz and the charming Ballet Music from Faust.

Tickets: €10 – reserved concert seating now applies

€5 Grab & Go lunch (buy your voucher at the box office with concert ticket)

Julian Ovenden in Broadway’s Great Romantics

Friday 6 August, 8pm

John Wilson conductor

Julian Ovenden is one of the hottest stars on the musical stage, getting rave reviews on the West End and Broadway. He’ll also be familiar as the dashing Dr Cheriton in The Royal and Andrew in Foyle’s War – not forgetting an appearance as the ‘hunk’ in a Diet Coke ad!

Despite his regal connections – his father is Queen Elizabeth’s chaplain and lives next door to Windsor Castle – Julian has made his way through his own ability, with scholarships to St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, Eton and then Oxford to study music.

His charisma and his outstanding talent as both singer and actor make him the ideal choice to celebrate Broadway’s Great Romantics, with numbers like Almost Like Being in Love, If Ever I Would Leave You, Luck Be A Lady, I Won’t Send Roses and Maria, all accompanied by the full RTÉ Concert Orchestra under its Principal Guest Conductor John Wilson.

‘Special kudos to Julian Ovenden, whose firm-voiced tenor remains one of the real glories of the London stage.’ – International Herald Tribune

Tickets: €11–€38 (conc. €10–€35)

RTÉ Summer Lunchtime Concert

Tuesday 10 August, 1.05pm

Nicolai The Merry Wives of Windsor Overture

Debussy (orch. Wilson) Clair de Lune

Dvorák Romance for Violin and Orchestra

Josef Strauss Music of the Spheres

Coates London Suite

Mia Cooper violin ? John Wilson conductor ? Eileen Dunne presenter

John Wilson, known for his interpretations of Eric Coates’ music, conducts the delightful London Suite and shows his genius as an orchestrator with his arrangement of the exquisite Clair de Lune. Acclaimed violinist Mia Cooper, leader of the orchestra, performs a flowing Dvorák Romance, and the melodies continue with popular Nicolai and a Josef Strauss waltz.

Tickets: €10 – reserved concert seating now applies

€5 Grab & Go lunch (buy your voucher at the box office with concert ticket)

My Fair Lady – in concert

Friday 13 & Saturday 14 August, 8pm

Book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner ? Music by Frederick Loewe ? Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion

Anthony Andrews, Annalene Beechey, David Burt, Julian Ovenden, Nickolas Grace and Kim Criswell vocalists ? New Dublin Voices choir ? John Wilson conductor

Anthony Andrews of Brideshead Revisited fame leads a starry cast in a concert version of this beloved musical. Playing Professor Henry Higgins, a huge hit for him in London, he is joined by top West End names Annalene Beechey as Eliza Doolittle, David Burt as her feckless father, and TV and stage star Julian Ovenden as the adoring Freddie. And it will be ‘Brideshead Revisited revisited’ as Nickolas Grace, who played Anthony Blanche in the ITV series, takes on the role of Colonel Pickering.

My Fair Lady is one of the great musicals, full of wit and charm, packed with favourites like I Could Have Danced All Night, On the Street Where You Live, Get Me to the Church on Time and many more. A rare feature of this performance will be the chance to hear these songs accompanied by the complete original orchestrations, whereas most modern revivals of classic musicals use scaled-down forces. A full orchestra allows the audience to hear all the colour and richness of the music as it was originally conceived, under conductor John Wilson, a musical theatre expert considered one of the best in the light music business.

Using the framing device of Colonel Pickering’s diary, the adaptation by Broadway diva Kim Criswell – who also plays housekeeper Mrs Pearce – tells the story effectively and dramatically. A loverly evening!

‘the greatest joy of the evening was the chance to witness Anthony Andrews' extraordinary Henry Higgins again, having seen him play it three times in the West End in 2003. He gave by far the most accomplished performance, and made the role his own . . . it was striking how individually he inhabited the part, rather than reproducing Rex Harrison's inflections in the original cast and movie recordings . . . Andrews' singing ability is also finer than Harrison's, in my opinion . . . In Annalene Beechey, the concert had an enchanting Eliza . . . she has a beautiful instrument and great interpretative talent. 'Just You Wait' was a real showstopper and 'I Could Have Danced All Night' was uplifting . . . She also had real chemistry with Andrews . . .’ –, 2009

Tickets: €15–€40 (conc. €13–€36)

RTÉ Summer Lunchtime Concert

Tuesday 17 August, 1.05pm

Mozart Don Giovanni Overture

Mozart ‘Voi Che Sapete’ from The Marriage of Figaro

Mozart ‘Parto, Parto’ from La Clemenza di Tito

Bartók Dances of Transylvania

Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 1

Elgar ‘Sea Slumber Song’ and ‘Where Corals Lie’ from Sea Pictures

Dvorák Prelude, Polka & Furiant from the Czech Suite

Ciarán Crilly conductor ? Sharon Carty mezzo-soprano ? Paul Herriott presenter

Sharon Carty’s decision to leave her job as a PE teacher to study singing in Vienna has been more than vindicated, with The Irish Times flagging her as ‘a young singer we’ll be hearing a lot more of’, and the Sunday Business Post praising her alliance of ‘impressive stage craft with a great singing voice’. She joins the RTÉ CO for two Mozart arias, the virtuosic ‘Parto, Parto’, with its gorgeous clarinet obbligato, and the lovestruck Cherubino’s ‘Voi Che Sapete’. She also performs two songs from Elgar’s powerful Sea Pictures, one a lullaby, the other – the most popular of the cycle – evoking the seductive power of the ocean, luring humans to its depths.

The orchestral offerings have an exhilarating gypsy dance flavour, including a Hungarian Dance, a Czech polka and Transylvanian dances to stir the blood!

Tickets: €10 – reserved concert seating now applies

€5 Grab & Go lunch (buy your voucher at the box office with concert ticket)

Michel Legrand with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra

Friday 20 August, 8pm

Michel Legrand conductor/piano/vocalist ? Special guest Catherine Michel harp

The legendary French film composer, five-time Grammy winner and triple Oscar winner joins a 60-strong RTÉ Concert Orchestra as conductor, pianist and vocalist for a very special evening. Hear the music that has made Michel Legrand a best-selling international star and musical icon, including The Windmills of Your Mind, music from his classic scores for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Yentl, Summer of ’42 and more.

There will be a particular welcome for Catherine Michel, the composer’s wife, who played harp with the RTÉ CO in the 1960s. This evening she will give a Legrand world première with the orchestra’s Principal Harpist, Geraldine O’Doherty, one of Catherine’s best pupils and daughter of one of her best friends, cellist Moya O’Grady.

Iconic film music at its finest, after the brilliant Lalo Schifrin RTÉ CO concert in February – ‘a terrific evening’s entertainment’ (The Irish Times). As Lalo Schifrin himself said: ‘All the members of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra are great artists individually – put together you can imagine. Dublin is very fortunate to have an orchestra of this calibre.’

Tickets: €30–€60 (conc. €27–€54)

Russell Watson

with guest choir New Dublin Voices

as part of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s Signature Series 2010

Sunday 22 August, 8pm

William Hayward conductor

Star tenor Russell Watson is back by popular demand after his sold-out concert with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra last year. His planned return in April had to be cancelled at the last minute because of the volcanic ash cloud, and indeed Russell Watson’s life has never been short of drama all round. From his breakthrough performance of Nessun Dorma at Old Trafford, he achieved incredible success with multi-million-selling albums, then battled his way back from ill health to remain one of the world’s top classical crossover artists.

At last year’s concert, he was showered with flowers and gifts by an adoring audience. Now, joined by guest choir New Dublin Voices, ‘The People’s Tenor’ returns for what is sure to be another memorable evening. An occasion not to be missed.

‘Watson is a singing phenomenon, and enjoys the sort of front-row adulation reserved for hunky superstars. The poor old concert hall didn’t know what hit it.’ – Sunday Business Post

Tickets: €30–€70 (conc. €27–€63)

RTÉ Summer Lunchtime Concert

Tuesday 24 August, 1.05pm

Rossini Overture to Semiramide

Mozart ‘Nel Grave Tormento’ from Mitridate

Johann Strauss ‘Mein Herr Marquis’ – The Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus

Johann Strauss Quadrille from Die Fledermaus

Puccini Intermezzo from Manon Lescaut

Puccini ‘Quando m’en vo’ from La bohème

Bernstein ‘Glitter and Be Gay’ from Candide

Gould Rhumba from Latin-American Symphonette

Mary O’Sullivan soprano ? David Brophy conductor ? Liz Nolan presenter

For anyone who loves opera or wants to hear the human voice do extraordinary things! Irish soprano Mary O’Sullivan joins the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for four stunning arias in this feast of operatic favourites. Hear Musetta’s famous plate-smashing aria ‘Quando m’en vo’, vocal fireworks and expressive extremes in ‘Nel Grave Tormento’ by the teenage Mozart, the ever-popular Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus and another laughing song, Bernstein’s coloratura showpiece ‘Glitter and Be Gay’.

Orchestral treats include the gorgeous, passionate Intermezzo from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. Then – to send you out into the rest of your day with a blast of colour, rhythm and fun – a Rhumba by Morton Gould.

Tickets: €10 – reserved concert seating now applies

€5 Grab & Go lunch (buy your voucher at the box office with concert ticket)

A Celebration of Bill Whelan with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra

Friday 27 August, 8pm

Ellen Cranitch presenter ? Featuring Bill Whelan piano ? Julie Feeney & Morgan Crowley vocalists ? Zoë Conway fiddle ? Declan Masterson uilleann pipes ? Rodrigo Romani Galician harp ? Mel Mercier bodhrán ? Mia Cooper violin ? Éilís Egan accordion ? dancers including Alan Kenefick ? David Brophy conductor

Bill Whelan, Grammy-winning composer of Riverdance, is the very special guest for this celebration of his music. An exciting line-up of the best Irish and international singers, dancers and instrumentalists joins the orchestra and its Principal Conductor David Brophy to pay tribute to one of Ireland’s musical treasures.

At the 1994 Eurovision, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra gave the electrifying first performance of the original Riverdance music, the genesis of what went on to become an entire show and a worldwide phenomenon. Experience the thrill live again this evening as the orchestra builds to the irresistible, unforgettable climax of that famous piece – as breathtaking a musical experience as ever.

With a programme also including Inishlacken, Dan do Lara, Timedance, The Seville Suite and more, this evening will be a fitting celebration of Bill Whelan’s powerful, moving and exhilarating music.

Tickets: €11–€38 (conc. €10–€35)

RTÉ Summer Lunchtime Concert

Tuesday 31 August, 1.05pm

Dvorák Slavonic Dance in B major, Op. 72 No. 1

Fleischmann Cornucopia

Smetana Dance of the Comedians from The Bartered Bride

Trad. (arr. Farnon) À La Claire Fontaine

Mozart Horn Concerto No. 1 in D major

Suppé Overture to The Beautiful Galatea

Cormac Ó hAodáin French horn ? Roderick Dunk conductor ? Carl Corcoran presenter

The Principal Horn of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Cormac Ó hAodáin, steps forward as soloist for this lunchtime concert. Mozart’s 1st Horn Concerto is full of wit and charm but don’t be fooled, it’s also a challenge to test any virtuoso. With Cornucopia, also for horn and orchestra, the RTÉ CO marks the centenary of the birth of distinguished Irish composer Aloys Fleischmann.

Also on the programme, the traditional French folk song À la Claire Fontaine, with its plaintive chorus ‘Il y a longtemps que je t’aime/Jamais je ne t’oublierai’. By contrast, some Bohemian flourishes and Viennese charm – the exhilarating romp of the Dance of the Comedians, a lively Slavonic Dance by Dvorák and a popular Suppé overture.

Tickets: €10 – reserved concert seating now applies.

€5 Grab & Go lunch (buy your voucher at the box office with concert ticket)

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