Remembering Ireland’s musical bard

unahunt (1)The Princess Grace Irish Library, under the aegis of the Princesse Grace Foundation, will be hosting a public lecture on Friday, May 5, on the topic of Thomas Moore, “Drawing Room Entertainer or Rebel Songster?”

Dr Una Hunt (pictured), one of Ireland’s leading concert pianists, will present the illustrated talk on at 7:30 pm.

Since 2007, Dr Hunt has devised and co-ordinated a significant diary of events in celebration of two hundred years since the first publication of Moore’s Irish Melodies. These include a nationwide competition for young singers at the National Concert Hall, a documentary series for RTÉ lyric FM, a multi-media exhibition viewed to date by 100,000 visitors, and the largest touring concert series of its kind ever mounted in Ireland.

In 2010, she presented Moore’s Irish Melodies at Carnegie Hall, New York, where the group received two standing ovations. A performance was given the following year in Russia to mark the unveiling of a sculpture honouring Moore at the University of St Petersburg.

Although Thomas Moore moved easily in privileged circles, he was also genuinely loved by the people of Ireland where he was described as “the true hearted Irishman” and regarded as Ireland’s national poet, his fame sealed by the success of his Irish Melodies.

Throughout one of Ireland’s darkest periods, Moore’s Irish Melodies were a source of national pride, reflecting many aspects of national identity, from gentle love of country to revolution.  Not content with confining themselves to Ireland’s shores, the political songs went round the world and later became symbolic rallying cries in Poland, Hungary, Russia and Cuba. Within the body of songs, the harp appears with frequency as a symbol of Ireland’s cultural past.

Reservations are essential due to the limited number of seats for the May 5 event at 9 rue Princesse Marie-de-Lorraine. Entry, €10/person, is payable at the door.

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