Highbrow (or more challenging) art in Ireland? 2013 seems to be a good year, with a cornucopia of events including as diverse offerings as Andy Warhol and Richard Wagner. Something for everyone, so take your pick ...
Art Events in January 2013
The ususal January treat for art lovers is the display of Turner watercolours at the National Gallery of Ireland - no surprise here, but still worth going every year.
Dance Ireland 21 kicks off at the end of the month, a year-long celebration of, well, dance. Live shows in Dublin, films specially commissioned, photographic exhibitions, talks ... dance becmoes a multi-media event this year. More information and detailed programmes under Dance Ireland.
Dublin and opera are not always the best bedfellows, but the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition is certainly worth a look into the National Concert Hall - nearly ninety international competitors will be battling it out for financial support and a head start in opera. It is a bit like X Factor for Highbrows, only without Simon Cowell. And with better singing even at the first stages. More information at the NCH website.
January 30th also sees the first staging of "Mixed Marriage" at the Lyric in Belfast (the production runs until February 23rd) - St. John Ervine's play makes somehow uneasy viewing with a family breaking apart under the impression of rising sectariansim and aggression in Ulster. Set at around the time of the Ulster Covenant, the play is rarely performed ... maybe because it becomes too personal for Northern Irish audiences. See for details at the Lyric Theatre website.
Much lighter fare is on offer in Dublin from January 31st, where the Gate Theatre opted for the theme of marriage as well, but as done by Alan Ayckbourn. His comedy "Bedroom Farce" dissects suburban married bliss without too much deep thought involved. See the for more details.
Art Events in February 2013
The fifteen minutes of fame start at February 7th and everyubody is an artist well into April ... in Belfast. You'll have guessed the theme, it is Andy Warhol. More than 230 works from three decades are on loan from the Tate Gallery to the Mac and will take over Belfast's newest art space completey. Find out more at the MAC webiste By the way, almost in parallel the Tate Modern in London hosts a retrospective of that other pop-art icon, Roy Lichtenstein.
The Abbey does Shakespeare - from February 12th Owen Roe will star as "King Lear" under the direction of Selina Cartmell. Well-known Irish names on a well-known stage in a classic play, the run (until March 23rd) is guaranteed to be commercially successful. Find our more at the Abbey website.
February 15th and 17th will be stormy in Belfast, at least on the stage - Wagners' "Flying Dutchman" comes ashore in teh city that bought us the Titanic. More details at the NI Opera website. Should you miss the boat (so to say), take the boat over to Scotland in April, where Scottish Opera will stage the masterpiece in April ...
February 21st sees the first exploration of cubism at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Kilmainham - the show promises to bring cubism to the masses (or so) through the works of Frenchman Albert Gleizes and his Irish pupils Evie Hone and Mainie Jellet. After the stint at the IMMA, it moves to Cork (Crawford Gallery) and Banbridge (FE McWilliam Gallery). More details at the IMMA website.
Another guaranteed winner kicks off on February 22nd - the low-budget movie that earned itself an Oscar for its most memorable song, dealing with the entwined lives of an Irish busker and an East-European immigrant ... "Once", now in musical form. Until March 9th it can be seen in Dublin, than it moves to London. Catch it in its native city while you can - at the Gaiety Theatre.
Art Events in March 2013
If you like the obscure and have a short attention span anyway, "Tiny Plays" at the Project Arts Centre may be for you. From March 12th to 30th an assortment of 25 "plays", actually mere three-minute-sketches, are staged here. Bound to be quirky as well as entertaining and thought-provoking. More information at the Project Arts Centre website.
March 27th will see 20-year-old British piano Wunderkind Benjamin Grosvenor playing Bach in Dublin. Try to get a ticket at the National Concert Hall.
Art Events in April 2013
In April, the Hugh Lane Dublin City Gallery and the National Gallery in London once again swap disputed artworks (the sinking of the Lusitania is to blame). Renoir's "Les Parapluies" will then be on display in Dublin again. Details can be found at the website of the Hugh Lane.
Another concert to look ot for in Dublin is the Academy of Ancient Music at the National Concert Hall on April 25th.
Art Events in May 2013
Dublin Dance Festival at the Abbey Theatre will run from the 14th to the 26th. Highlights this year include the Taro Saarinen Company from Finland giving a Stravinsky performence and the Begian troupe Ultima Vez astonishing with their work "What the Body Does Not Remember", described as "tough, brutal, playful, ironic and terrific" by the New York Times. More information on the Dublin Dance Festival website
Art Events in June 2013
Modern marriage in Ireland is the stuff for the stage? Well, some weddings are staged to the nines already, so we should not be too surprised that Carmel Winters has followed with her play "Best Man". This will form part of the Cork Midsummer Festival (starting June 21st) and certainly provoke some discussion. About time. More information at the Cork Midsummer Festival website
June 28th sees the start of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in and around Bantry, running until July 6th with a mixed programme in various venues.
Art Events in July 2013
From July 22nd (and until August 9th) Blue Raincoat will stage two plays by William Butler Yeats in his beloved Sligo. The plays are "The Only Jealousy of Emer" and "The Cat and the Moon". A good chance to see Yeats staged under Ben Bulben, so to say. Find out more at the Blue Raincoat webiste
She might be a bit too popular for many, but Renee Fleming is certainly highly anticipated in Dublin - her concert will be held at the National Concert Hall on July 24th.
On the last day of July (and planned to trun well into September), the Abbey will showcase George Bernard Shaw again - this time with "Major Barbara". Directed by Annabelle Comyn, who was lauded for her take on the same author's "Pygmalion". More information at the Abbey website
Art Events in October 2013
The annual Wexford Festival Opera will run from October 23rd through to November3rd, resurrecting (once again) some really obscure pieces - Il Capello di Paglia die Firenze, Therese/La Navarraise and Christina, Regina de Svezia. Might be an eye-opener for many, certainly an earful for all. More information at the Wexford Festival Opera website.