NOËL The Musical

A selection of songs from NOËL recorded live from the National Opera House

Photography by PAULA MALONE CARTY

 

INVISIBLE

James Byng as Edgar

 

Edgar and his sister Duchess, are homeless and are living rough in the park. 


DEAR SANTA

Stephen Carlile as Nick

 

Nick (Santa) reads some of his 'Dear Santa' letters.


WHAT ARE WE TO DO?

Zoe Rainey (Duchess) & James Byng (Edgar)

 

Noël's mother is still missing. The mobile phone with which she hopes to hear good news about her mother, has broken. Duchess and Edgar try to cheer her up with a story about how they came to live in the park. Edgar fixes the phone.


WATER, LOVE & KISSES

Avril O'Toole as Mother

 

This is the lullaby Noël's mother always sings.


EVERYBODY LOVED ME

Mark Lambert as Mr. Carnegie

 

Noël's teacher, Mr Carnegie, explains why he is so hard on the students.


HOPE IS IN THE HEAVENS

Full Cast

 

In the town square, people gather and keep vigil, hoping that Santa will return.


WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE

Hana Kelly as Noël

 

Noël momentarily steps into her world of fantasy and wonder.


THIS MAN

Stephen Carlile as Nick

 

Nick has become disillusioned and frustrated by the greed and rampant consumerism surrounding Christmas. He despairs of the world and its values.


FAIRY-STORY GIRL

Zoe Rainey as Duchess

 

Duchess learns the truth about Nick and realizes that he has always known who she really is. 


A STITCH IN TIME

Duchess, Edgar & Mr. Carnegie

 

Duchess and Edgar save Mr. Carnegie's show by magically creating all the costumes.


I'LL BE THERE

Duchess & Nick

 


THE NOËL

Noël & cast

 


HOPE IS IN THE HEAVENS

final reprise


ALL TRACKS | CONTINUOUS PLAY


VenuWorks Theatricals presents

NOËL THE MUSICAL

by

EOIN COLFER and LIAM BATES

directed by BEN BARNES

 

produced by MICHAEL LONDRA and STEVE PETERS

 

This concert performance was with The Orchestra of Ireland

 

(Left to right) Author EOIN COLFER, producer MICHAEL LONDRA, composer LIAM BATES, producer STEVE PETERS and director BEN BARNES. 

CANTICLES

Inspired by a visit to the small village of Kpna in the north of the African country, Togo, Canticles places at its heart, the rhythms and melodies from community songs.

Glowing with the light of a thousand,

a thousand galaxies,

Flowing with the strength

of a ceding river,                                              

Embracing and transforming

from season to season,

Loving with no limits.

 

Oh my beloved, O my beloved, my love anew for you as we wake in the morning.

Oh my beloved, O my beloved, my hands be strong when we're working long in the sunlight.

Oh my beloved, O my beloved, my heart be still as we sit alone in the moonlight.

Oh my beloved, O my beloved, my sense be clear as we sleep at night in the forest.

Oh my beloved, O my beloved, my love be strong. Let peace come to you in your sleeping.

 

Mount Kililanjaro and Lake Victoria

Rift Valley and the Serengeti Plain

Fat baobabs and shady mango trees

Hippos and lions, elephants and eagles

 

Busy black ants and hopping fleas

Wriggling tadpoles and mosquito larvae

Sisal plant tips and tall lake reeds

Maasai spears and hunting arrows

 

Coconut milk and roasted yams

sponges and porridge and golden ripe mangos

ugar cane sweet and sundered dates

sweet pineapples and bananas

HEROES OF THE HELEN BLAKE

A five movement seascape for large orchestra and men’s choir, rich with beautiful melody and lush in orchestral colour. Dedicated to Lifeboat men and women through the ages, a magnificent work evoking the spirit of faith, fear and bravery of the souls who wander the seas.

National Concert Hall | May 1st, 2016

NATIONAL CONCERT HALL peformance | 1st May, 2016

NATIONAL CONCERT HALL peformance | 1st May, 2016

Animation by COLM Ó FOGHLÚ

 

FULL PERFORMANCE | 2014 premier

 

Survivors from the ill-fated schooner, MEXICO  

Survivors from the ill-fated schooner, MEXICO

 

CHOIR

CHOIR

NCH performance  

NCH performance

 

WEXFORD performance of HEROES OF THE HELEN BLAKE | February 2014               photo Patrick Hogan

WEXFORD performance of HEROES OF THE HELEN BLAKE | February 2014               photo Patrick Hogan

VIVO [ viːvəʊ ]

Springing from its own syncopated rhythms, VIVO draws from 70s and 80s Jazz/Funk and Funk/Disco - the music of STEVIE WONDER, WAR and EARTH WIND & FIRE - tracks such as SIR JUKE, I WISH, SEPTEMBER, ME & BABY BROTHER and LOW RIDER, with their infectious, syncopated riffs and bass-lines, cleverly written to compel even the most un-coordinated of us to express pleasure in rhythmic movement. Beware.

DANCING WITH GIOCONDA

Live performance | Cello WILLIAM BUTT Piano ORLA McDONAGH 

The mystery or intrigue surrounding a person can often be the alluring quality, which attracts and engages the attention. That which is obscured from the face of the Mona Lisa, has captured the imagination of many generations, making her arguably the most talked about subject of a portrait. 

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 12.38.12.png

The main character in Oscar Wilde's short story A Sphinx without a Secret, purposefully invests in maintaining her own cloud of mystique to great effect, whilst beneath the open charm and charisma, resides the hidden company of the unhappy and the lonely. 

Dancing with Gioconda is a lyrical piece of music, styled in romance and passion, with just a hint of heartache. There are light touches of jazz harmony particularly within the landscape created by the piano.

This performance is given by Cellist WILLIAM BUTT and pianist ORLA McDONAGH

creating a new angle on a recent composition

         A work for large symphony orchestra and male voice choir, gets a more intimate treatment.

Premiered in February 2014, Heroes of the Helen Blake was commissioned by Wexford Sinfonia to mark the orchestra’s 20th anniversary.

The original work is in five movements and is scored for large orchestra and male voice choir. This more intimate chamber version is in two movements and is scored for solo violin and string orchestra. Performed here with the amazing Mia Cooper...

 

The work pays tribute to the brave volunteers of the lifeboat service and particularly those who lost their lives in the dramatic rescue of the crew of the S.V. Mexico, a Norwegian schooner which hit the rocks off the coast of Wexford in 1914. The first lifeboat to launch was the Helen Blake with a crew of fourteen men from the nearby coastal town of Fethard. Within moments of arriving, it too was thrown against the rocks and nine of its crew were drowned. A three day rescue with lifeboats from nearby coastal communities in treacherous conditions, brought the remaining crews of the Helen Blake and the Mexico, home to safety.

 

Lifeboat HELEN BLAKE heading towards the MEXICO

Lifeboat HELEN BLAKE heading towards the MEXICO

The melodies of two Wexford sea shanties The Coast of Malabar and Whiskey Johnny are woven into the composition. Also references to the hymn tune Hail Queen of Heaven the Ocean Star, mark the great faith of those who go to sea and those who wait ashore.

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Check out the premier performance from February 2014... HERE 

STANDING ROOM ONLY at the music for wexford concert

MUSIC FOR WEXFORD CONCERT

STANDING ROOM ONLY at the Music For Wexford concert last month. Wexford audiences are the warmest... and they certainly know their onions. 

So you just have to give it up for the team at Music For Wexford who suggested and supported this concert performance of my work.

It's rare that a whole programme is given over to just one composer's music and it's certainly a gift of an opportunity. And after years of concert promotion, Music For Wexford now wanted to feature the work 'of a living composer'... that's even rarer (I love that angle). 

Well it paid off and thankfully the occasion attracted a capacity audience who appreciatively stood up twice, and as you can imagine  left me suspended on a natural high with all that adrenaline pumping through my veins.

LIAM BATES and MUSICI IRELAND

LIAM BATES and MUSICI IRELAND

It has to be said that at the heart of this performance was the extraordinary finesse of the ensemble MUSICI IRELAND lead by Mia Cooper... they were stunning. Joined by flugelhorn player Shaun Hooke, pianist Orla McDonagh who also accompanied cellist William Butt, singer Cillian Byrne and accordionist Donagh Wylde, they managed to navigate their way around eighty minutes of my concert chamber pieces with an abundance of skilful brilliance and zing!... a composer's dream. A whopping special thanks here goes to violist Beth McNinch, Musici Ireland's artistic director, for getting it all together.

And how amazing is it for Wexford to have VALDA CHAMBER CHOIR... they were just the icing on the cake! They worked towards this concert with such generosity and commitment and their performance was beautiful and stunning. Thank you VALDA... I would love to do more music together with you. 

So a big thank you to everyone who came to the concert... you were such a warm audience which only served to ignite the performance.

And I think you'll all agree that it was brilliant to see so many young people there too... did anyone see the little girl dancing in the isle in the last play of VIVO? Now she was really connecting with the beat. I might encourage a bit of audience dancing at the next concert.

 

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Check out this review of the concert by Cathy Desmond... here

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As for the Music For Wexford team, I really think between them they could rule the world! Do you know these volunteers have been bringing quality performers and performances to Wexford for over twenty-two years?... Somebody should write an article on these formidable people and on everything they have achieved. (Check out their programme for the year ahead and follow them on Facebook.)

Liam

Recording ANGEL with Wexford Choirs

What an superb gathering of choral singers in Wexford, coming together to record ANGEL.

Enniscorthy Choral Society, Wexford Festival Singers, Valda Chamber Choir, Vocare and Rowe Street Choir, with a few stragglers thrown in... what a wonderful sound!

And I know there are a few other fine choirs in town, church and school communities around Wexford and the further reaches of the county, who are also enjoying the traditions of good choral singing. I definitely think there is something to be said for assembling the voices of Wexford from time to time.

And again please!

RECORDING ANGEL

RECORDING ANGEL