Sean-nós 0pera for vocalists and orchestra.
Duration – 60′.
Libretto: Pádraic Ó Beirn & Dave Flynn. Gaelic translations by Billy Mag Fhloinn.
Music by Dave Flynn.
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Mná Brian Boru is a new kind of ‘opera’ where the vocalist are all traditional Irish ‘sean nós’ singers and the orchestra contains Irish folk instruments alongside classical instruments, electric guitars and drums. It tells the story of the great Irish High King Brian Ború, from the perspective of the key women in his life. His mother, wives, sister and daughters. The score exclusively features female vocal soloists. Brian Ború’s voice is represented by the uilleann pipes. Musically the piece mixes influences as diverse as Irish traditional music, contemporary classical music, Nigerian Afro-Funk and 1980’s Dream pop.
Mná Brian Boru was commissioned by Clare Arts Office under the Per Cent for Arts Scheme and premiered by Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra and Singers, conducted by Bjorn Bantock in St. Flannan’s Cathedral, Killaloe, Oct 2014.
Section I – Young Brian Boru (Brian Óg)
1. The Birth of Brian Boru
2. Song I – Be Binn’s Prophecy
Section II – The High King
1. The Coronation of the King
2. Song II – Gormflaith’s Call (The SCAIRBHÍN)
Section III – The Battle of Clontarf
1. Song III – Salute to Brian of the Tributes
2. The Dalcassians Slaughter the Norsemen At Clontarf
3. Brian Boru’s Battle March
4. The Dalcassian’s Victory March
Section IV – The Death of Brian Boru
1. Brodir Slays Boru
2. Song IV – Sadb’s Lament for the Fallen King
Mná Brian Ború – Original Cast
Brian Ború – Mick O’Brien (Uilleann Pipes)
Young Brian Ború – Cormac O’Brien (Uilleann Pipes)
Bé Binn inion Urchadh – Etain McCooey (Lead Vocal)
Sadb – Roisin Donohoe (Lead Vocal)
Blathnaid – Maeve O’Hara (Harmony Vocals)
Bé Binn – Aoife Ni Bhriain (Harmony Vocals)
Sláine – Ciara Ni Bhriain (Harmony Vocals)
Gormflaith – Niamh Varian-Barry (Lead Vocal)
Dubhcobhla – Edel Vaughan (Harmony Vocals)
Orlaith – Ceara Conway (Harmony Vocals)
Brodir The Viking – Bjorn Bantock (Conductor)
Aoife Ni Bhriain
Ciara Ni Bhriain
Cormac Ó Briain
Sax/Bass Clarinet/Bronze Age Horns
Trumpet/Bronze Age Horns
Trombone/Bronze Age Horns
Bronze Age Horns/Bodhrán/Harmony Vocals
Billy Mag Fhloinn
Dave Flynn (also percussion/harmony vocals)