Shelter me from the Rain – Public Art: Carlow County Council
In 2007 the Carlow Local Authorities Public Art Working Group began to work with specialist curators and artists across art forms such as the visual arts, theatre, music etc in order to get an insight into what makes ‘good public art’ that engages communities whilst also creating something artistically unique.
From this process the Public Art Working Group chose to work with one of Ireland’s leading conductors and music specialists, Fergus Sheil. Fergus’s vision was for an opera for Carlow, about Carlow and which would include the people of Carlow. It was an extraordinarily exciting project that involved the creation of a new work – which was the first ever opera commissioned by a local authority in Ireland. The concept for the Opera was to include as many interested people as possible from the community with or without previous vocal coaching / singing experience and for them to embark upon a year long training programme with a range of different artists, musicians and vocal coaches. This would culminate in the staging of major performances. This project marks not only a celebration of the works of leading artists such as Fergus Sheil (Curator / Music Director) , Brian Irvine (Composer), John McIlduff (Director / Writer), but also celebrates the diversity of voices from across county Carlow.
Shelter me from the Rain – a Field guide to Love in an Irish Town, composed by the musical genius Brian Irvine, and sensitively written by John McIlduff, is being brought to life in Carlow for what has been an uplifting experience. For the participants of the project it has been an amazing journey of discovery and for you our audiences I am sure the final performances will be a delight to witness.