Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Guest Announcement: 'This Is Ireland' at UCLA on St. Patrick's Day 2011


Celebrity Guest Performers Include Actor Pierce Brosnan, Actress Roma Downey, Lyric Soprano Celine Byrne, “X-Factor” Finalist Storm Lee, Paris Opera Baritone Sam McElroy with Music by Elmer Bernstein, Christopher Young, John Williams, U2

A Tribute to Thin Lizzy’s Gary Moore Will be Featured

Los Angeles…(February 22, 2011)…The Gala production of “This is Ireland,” the authentic Irish theatrical, musical experience, will take place on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 8:00 PM at UCLA’s prestigious performing arts theater, Royce Hall, where music, performance and image will unite to celebrate the epic journey of the Emerald Isle. Promising to become an annual St Patrick’s Day event in Los Angeles, the magical evening will be a sensational multimedia expression of Irish music, culture and history led by Irish composer/conductor Eímear Noone (The Los Angeles Ballet, “StarCraft II,” The Dublin City Concert Orchestra, The Los Angeles Irish Film Festival) with special celebrity guest performers including actor Pierce Brosnan (“The Ghost Writer,” “Mamma Mia,” “Die Another Day”); award-winning lyric soprano Celine Byrne (2007 Maria Callas Grand Prix); actress/producer Roma Downey (“Touched by an Angel”), “X-Factor” finalist Storm Lee; pre-eminent harpist Gayle Levant (“Spider Man 3,” “The Bucket List”); former Paris Opera Baritone Sam McElroy and Irish actress and television host, Caroline Morahan. The full cast and musical performers will be finalized in the days leading up to the event.

The event’s prestigious list of Honorary Patrons include Roma Downey, award-winning actor Martin Sheen (“The West Wing,” “The Departed,” “Apocalypse Now”), Oscar®-nominated father/daughter team director Jim Sheridan (“In the Name of the Father,” “My Left Foot”) and director/writer Kirsten Sheridan (“August Rush,” “In America”), with additional Patrons to be announced.

“This is Ireland” is the vision of Galway native Noone and her husband, Craig Stuart Garfinkle, an award-winning music producer and Emmy-nominated composer.

“After Los Angeles’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade was cancelled last year, we decided to dedicate a fresh new event in celebration of Ireland's rich socio-cultural history,” states Noone.  “Not only do we want to share our favorite things about being Irish with our adopted city, but we also want to create a meaningful and exciting Irish experience to redefine St. Patrick’s Day. “ 

Eimear Noone, conductor/composer. Photo courtesy of Blizzard Games
Noone will answer the question, "What does it really mean to be Irish?" by taking the audience on a whistle-stop tour of Ireland's rich, poignant and at times humorously complex, socio-cultural history.  Pathos, tradition, tragedy and comedy will share the stage in this in-depth illustration of the colorful facets of the Irish psyche which will include: a 40-piece orchestra, a chorus, a core rock ensemble, Irish film clips, news reels, dance, excerpts from great literary works, letters from Irish American emigrants, special greetings from Ireland’s President Mary McAleese, and even a sword fight between the legendary Grace O’Malley “The Pirate Queen” and her ex-husband Domhnaill. 

With a mix of original and traditional composition, “This is Ireland” will feature Irish music ranging from folk songs (including songs from the Famine) to film scores and will include music by Oscar® and Grammy-winner John Williams (“Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “Schindler’s List,” “Harry Potter”), multi-Academy Award®-winner Elmer Bernstein and Ireland’s great 18th Century harper-composer O’Carolan. The program will also feature the bewitching tunes of Golden Globe-nominated film composer Christopher Young (“Swordfish,” “Spiderman 2,” “Drag me to Hell”), the nocturnes of 19th Century composer and concert pianist John Field, and music from Irish rock stars such as U2 and Thin Lizzy, with a special tribute to Gary Moore.

“This is Ireland” is written by Eímear Noone, Patrick Duffy, advisor and speechwriter to former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, and Dearbhail MacDonald, author and legal editor for the Irish Independent.  Producers are Eimear Noone, Craig Stuart Garfinkle, Patrick Duffy, Lisa McLaughlin-Strassman, Bernadette O’Neill, Dearbhail MacDonald and David Garfinkle.  Co-producers are Victoria Harris, Jan Kean and Deborah Kolar.  Honorary patrons include Roma Downey, Martin Sheen, Kirsten Sheridan and director Jim Sheridan.

This is Ireland”’s sponsors include Tourism Ireland and Kerrygold.

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Event Details:
March 17, 2011 – 8:00 p.m. – UCLA’s Royce Hall

Ticket Purchase Details:
Individual tickets are $38/58/68/88 for the performance.  For additional information and tickets please see calendar/event_detail.asp?id= 114 

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