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A MUSICAL HISTORY

American Composer Richard B. Evans celebrates Ireland with a concert of original classical crossover and Irish traditional tunes that vividly bring to life the words of 12 of Ireland’s great Poet-Patriots – from Aindreas Mac Craith and Donncha Rua Mac Conmara to Robert Emmet, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, James Connolly, Padraic Pearse, WB Yeats, Maud Gonne and more – in a timeless musical tribute to Ireland’s heroic past and luminous future. 


The cast includes premier musicians from Ireland, three classical vocalists, a chorus of 25 mixed voices, a 28-piece concert orchestra with harp, piano and pipe organ, and an Irish Traditional music ensemble of fiddle, uilleann pipes, pennywhistles, Celtic harp, button accordion, Irish flute and bodhrán. Narrators intersperse brief comments that explain how each musical piece illustrates an important event or movement in 140 years of Irish history.


The musical movements feature Protestant and Catholic authors in equal numbers, and the final choral number is a benediction based on a poem of reconciliation by the Irish mystic poet A.E., titled "Immortality."

"One of the most outstanding reactions to POET-PATRIOTS was the way that it reached out and touched every facet of our community here in the Bay Area – the Irish-born, the Irish-Americans, those who were close to their Irish roots and Irish history, and those perhaps who were not. It was very clear that what Richard was able to do and the performers brought forward was something universal, something that speaks not only of the Irish narrative and the Irish experience, but who we are and what we are – something that is fundamental to the human spirit.”

Philip Grant, Consul General of Ireland, San Francisco – Partner on the April 22, 2016, Premiere Performance for the 1916 Centenary Commemorations

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UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

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IRELAND’S POET-PATRIOTS logo designed by Richard Bagel and Debra Wakefield and features the following images:

• the face of Pádraic Pearse as a young man
• the arms and body of James Larkin in his famous oratory pose
• photos of William Butler Yeats and his muse Maud Gonne
• the tattered Irish flag that flew over the GPO during the Easter Rising
• a Celtic cross carved from bone in the Frongoch prison camp where some Irish prisoners were sent after the 1916 Rising
• in the background within the frame, the red rose that Yeats uses as one of his metaphors for Ireland
• at the corners of the frame, a design from the Book of Kells
• in the overall background, a page from the score of  IRELAND’S POET-PATRIOTS