SPRING/SUMMER 2011 / VOL. 11 ISSUE 2
|Irish Culture Highlighted at UCLA Gala
The production of "This is Ireland," the authentic Irish theatrical, musical experience, was held March 17 at UCLA's prestigious performing arts theater, Royce Hall. Music, performance and image united to celebrate the epic journey of the Emerald Isle.
Promising to become an annual St. Patrick's Day event in Los Angeles, the magical evening was a sensational multimedia expression of Irish music, culture and history led by Irish composer/conductor Eímear Noone (The Los Angeles Ballet, "StarCraft II," The Dublin City Concert Orchestra, The Los Angeles Irish Film Festival) with special celebrity guest performers including actor Pierce Brosnan ("The Ghost Writer," "Mamma Mia," "Die Another Day"), award-winning lyric soprano Celine Byrne, actress/producer Roma Downey ("Touched by an Angel"), "X-Factor" finalist Storm Lee, preeminent harpist Gayle Levant ("Spider Man 3," "The Bucket List"), former Paris Opera Baritone Sam McElroy and Irish actress and television host, Caroline Morahan. The full cast and musical performers will be finalized in the days leading up to the event.
The event's prestigious list of patrons include Roma Downey, award-winning actor Martin Sheen ("The West Wing," "The Departed," "Apocalypse Now"), Oscar®-nominated father/daughter team director Jim Sheridan ("In the Name of the Father," "My Left Foot") and director/writer Kirsten Sheridan ("August Rush," "In America").
"This is Ireland" is the vision of Galway native Noone and her husband, Craig Stuart Garfinkle, an award-winning music producer and Emmy-nominated composer.
"After Los Angeles' annual St. Patrick's Day Parade was canceled last year, we decided to dedicate a fresh new event in celebration of Ireland's rich socio-cultural history," stated Noone. "Not only do we want to share our favorite things about being Irish with our adopted city, but we also want to create a meaningful and exciting Irish experience to redefine St. Patrick's Day. "
Noone will answer the question, "What does it really mean to be Irish?" by taking the audience on a whistle-stop tour of Ireland's rich, poignant and at times humorously complex, socio-cultural history. Pathos, tradition, tragedy and comedy shared the stage in this in-depth illustration of the colorful facets of the Irish psyche which included: a 40-piece orchestra, a chorus, a core rock ensemble, Irish film clips, news reels, dance, excerpts from great literary works, letters from Irish American emigrants, special greetings from Ireland's President Mary McAleese, and even a sword fight between the legendary Grace O'Malley as "The Pirate Queen" and her ex-husband Domhnaill.
With a mix of original and traditional composition, "This is Ireland" will feature Irish music ranging from folk songs (including songs from the Famine) to film scores and will include music by Oscar® and Grammy-winner John Williams ("Jaws," "Star Wars," "Schindler's List," "Harry Potter"), multi-Academy Award-winner Elmer Bernstein and Ireland's great 18th Century harper-composer O'Carolan. The program will also feature the bewitching tunes of Golden Globe-nominated film composer Christopher Young ("Swordfish," "Spiderman 2," "Drag Me to Hell"), the nocturnes of 19th Century composer and concert pianist John Field, and music from Irish rock stars such as U2 and Thin Lizzy, with a special tribute to Gary Moore.
"This is Ireland" is written by Eímear Noone, Patrick Duffy, advisor and speechwriter to former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, and Dearbhail MacDonald, author and legal editor for the Irish Independent. Producers are Eimear Noone, Craig Stuart Garfinkle, Patrick Duffy, Lisa McLaughlin-Strassman, Bernadette O'Neill, Dearbhail MacDonald and David Garfinkle. Co-producers are Victoria Harris, Jan Kean and Deborah Kolar. Honorary patrons include Roma Downey, Martin Sheen, Kirsten Sheridan and director Jim Sheridan.
"This is Ireland's sponsors included Tourism Ireland and Kerrygold.
For further information: http://www.uclalive.org/calendar/event_detail.asp?id=114
About Eimear Noone ("This is Ireland" Producer):
Composer/conductor Eimear Noone has had a varied and versatile career spanning Classical repertoire, film scores, video game scores, movie trailers and pop/rock recordings. She recently composed the score to the feature film, "The Forlorn" starring Crispin Glover; orchestrated Oscar nominee Javier Navarrete's score to the film "The Hole" directed by Joe Dante of "Gremlins" fame and conducted the score for Blizzard Games' "StarCraft 2, Wings of Liberty which is currently nominated for the "Best Original Score" Video Game Award.
In 2007, Noone conducted the orchestra for the Los Angeles Ballet in
their inaugural production of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker."
Her work has been performed and/or recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, The Bulgarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The Czech Philharmonic, The Seattle Symphony Orchestra and The Dublin City Concert Orchestra as well as some of the finest studio orchestras in Los Angeles. She also orchestrated on the mega-hit video game "World of Warcraft" - which has an average of 12 million players on-line every day, and her orchestrations have also appeared in the trailers for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and "Arthur and the Invisibles" and in the secondary theme on "Britain's Got Talent" and "America's Got Talent."
As an educator, Noone teaches conducting for the film-scoring departments
at UCLA Extension and Columbia College.
About Craig Stuart Garfinkle ("This is Ireland" Producer)
As an award winning music producer and Emmy-nominated composer, Craig Stuart Garfinkle's career includes work on feature films, trailers, documentaries, multimedia, network television, commercials, stage musicals and music albums. Recently Garfinkle directed "30 Premeditated Acts," a feature length documentary chronicling comedian Dane Cook's creative journey. In the film and TV music world, his music has appeared in 100's of projects such as NBC's "The Office," "Fringe," "Lost," "The Sopranos," "America's Got Talent," the Disney Channel's "The Little Mermaid" series and countless others.
Garfinkle is probably best known for his musical contribution to film trailers with partner Simone Benyacar. Some of their recent projects in this genre would include: "J.J. Abrams Star Trek," "Sin City," the last three "Harry Potter Films," "Vicky Christina Barcelona," "Over the Hedge," "Spider-man 3," "HALO II," "James Bond, A Quantum of Solace," "The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King" and many more. His most recent contributions: The trailer for "All Good Things," "Red" and the yet to be released commercials for the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Video Game."
In the world of multimedia, Garfinkle's music is featured in two recently released X-Box / PS2 games. He composed the original music for "Baldur's Gate, the Dark Alliance II," and his song, "A Nuclear Blast" is the main menu theme for the Game "Fallout, A Brotherhood of Steel."
"Baldur's Gate" marks his 13th journey to "Middle Earth" having started composing for the "Dungeons and Dragons" genre for TSR Inc. in the mid '90s. Other scores in this genre include the TV special "Dragonstrike," and the games Planescape, A Guide to the Outlands.", "Ravenloft, A Light in the Belfry," and "Terror Trax" (among others).
Garfinkle was also part of the composing team headed by Stephen James Taylor for Disney's "Raw Toonage," and the sole composer for the KAET/PBS production "Visions of Arizona;" both programs received Emmy nominations for outstanding original score.
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