Eighth Blackbird Presents
A cantata in doublespeak
December 8 & 9, 2017
Olagón, a conflicted wail of both mourning and victory, stands as the central inspiration of this new evening-length collaboration between Eighth Blackbird, composer/fiddler Dan Trueman, vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird of the contemporary Irish supergroup The Gloaming, and Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon. Drawing from the legendary Irish tale Táin Bó Cúailnge, Olagón aims to tell a story of hardship in contemporary, post-recession Ireland while honoring traditional musics of Ireland, Norway, and America. Muldoon’s text – utilizing both English and Irish – is sung in the unique and highly ornamental vocal practice known as sean nós by Ó Lionáird. When coupled with Trueman’s diverse musical landscape, stage direction by Mark DiChiazza, and the virtuosity of Eighth Blackbird, a multi-cultural experience unlike any other is brought vividly to life.
Lead support for Olagón: A Cantata in Doublespeak is provided by the Poetry Foundation, with additional support from the University of Richmond, the Irish Arts Center, and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
Eighth Blackbird (Nathalie Joachim, flutes; Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets, Yvonne Lam, violin & viola; Nick Photinos, cello; Matthew Duvall, percussion; Lisa Kaplan, piano); Iarla Ó Lionáird, vocals; Dan Trueman, composer/fiddle
Mark DeChiazza, Stage Director; Barbara Butts, Production Manager; Dr. Matt McCabe, Audio Engineer; Mary Ellen Stebbins, Lighting Designer