A studio recording of Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows by Simon O’Connor and Michelle O’Rourke is now available to buy via the Ergodos webshop.
Recorded in the beautiful acoustic of St. Peter’s Church, Drogheda, the album features O’Rourke and O’Connor on vocals and piano/guitar respectively, as well as Dara Higgins (bass) and John Dermody (percussion) from The Jimmy Cake, and the Robinson Panoramic Quartet, a dynamic Dublin-based string ensemble. These players bring a dramatic energy to the retelling of the stories of wives of prominent rebel leaders in the 1916 Rising, including Maud Gonne, Grace and Muriel Gifford, Agnes Mallin and others.
On 27 April, in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, Michelle O’Rourke will perform the songs with full orchestral arrangements by Simon O’Connor, performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra (conductor John O’Brien) and featuring inter-song narration by celebrated actor Olwen Fouéré. Book your tickets here: https://www.nch.ie/Online/RTECO-Widows-of-1916-27Apr16
Check out O’Connor and O’Rourke talking about the project on RTÉ lyric fm here. You can also hear Simon O’Connor and historian Sinéad McCoole discussing the songs with Kathy Sheridan on the Irish Times Women’s Podcast here.
Left Behind was recently presented as part of Ireland2016’s state commemorations on International Women’s Day. The performance was attended by President Michael D. Higgins, and Tánaiste Joan Burton. It received a standing ovation, and was described as “magnificent” in The Irish Times. Left Behind was also presented at RTÉ Reflecting the Rising events on Easter Monday. A national tour is currently underway – full dates here: https://ergodos.ie/left-behind/