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News 8. 5. 2019

Love during the Irish famine celebrated in new Irish show to premiere on Broadway

Fáinne Óir: Irish famine musical to open in New York in September 2019.

Five-time world champion and lead dancer in “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance” Ciara Sexton has lent her endless talents to the latest Irish show certain to take over Broadway.

Tickets are now on sale for the premiere of “Fáinne Oír,” an original music and dance experience based on the Irish Great Hunger which is set to take over New York’s Peter Norton Symphony Space Theater on Broadway on  September 26, 2019.

With Riverdance star Sexton taking the lead on dance, she will be supported by some of New York’s best Irish and contemporary dancers, while the set and lighting design is inspired by the paintings of Achill-based Dublin artist Padraig McCaul, who is working on a set of original paintings depicting the “Fáinne Óir” story.

“Fáinne Óir,” a love story set in the time of the Irish famine, is the creation of Mayo composer Kathy Fahey, whose 90-minute work is inspired by the resilience and community spirit of the Irish during the Great Hunger.

The show tells the story of the O’Malleys, an Irish family living in the townland of Glanageeha in West Mayo during the Famine, between the years of 1845 and 1848.

It documents a tale of young love, between Saoirse, the oldest O’Malley daughter, and farmhand Diarmuid.

As the destructive potato blight hits Ireland, audiences are taken on a journey through music and dance as Diarmuid promises to protect his true love forever – even in the face of emigration to America and a new life in New York City.

Exploring themes of struggle, heartache and young love, “Fáinne Óir” ultimately ends on a high note as the Golden Ring, a central theme of the show returns to its rightful place.

Fahey’s composition is to be performed by the Mayo Concert Orchestra, supported by Mayo vocal group ‘Voxfusion’ and traditional musicians from Mayo and New York.

The complete work will have its Irish premiere in the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, on September 20 next, before traveling to New York for the Broadway show later that week, where it is expected to resonate strongly with the Irish diaspora.

In a recent interview, Fahey said, “In creating ‘Fáinne Óir’ around the famine, I especially liked the idea that it was old Ireland. While of course, it was a profoundly sad time for people because of the potato blight, starvation, death, emigration, and tragedy, there were also happy elements to it.

“Families worked so closely together as unified groups, to support and protect each other and simply, to stay alive. Community was very important.”

Fahey believes that sense of community still survives today – and that the New York Irish who come out to support this inspiring production will savor its cultural journey down memory lane for Irish families the world over.

Tickets can be purchased at www.fainneoir.com and at www.symphonyspace.org.

IrishCentral Staff@IrishCentral

Václav Bernard

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