Recent politics in Northern Ireland provokes new music work

The Belfast Ensemble

The political events of the last two years provokes a new music work from local composer and premieres next weekend at the Lyric Theatre before UK performances. 

As part of their BASH weekend at the Lyric Theatre, local company The Belfast Ensemble have created a new 15 work entitled ‘Lunaria’, composed by local composer Conor Mitchell. The new work – written for chamber orchestra and spoken voice – takes as its theme the political events of the last two years in Northern Ireland and culminates in the reporting of the shocking murder of the young journalist Lyra McKee.

The Belfast Ensemble The new work will premiere at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre as part of the Ensemble’s BASH weekend. In July the work goes to London’s Southbank Centre and Hull as part of the PRSF New Music Biennial 2019. BBC Radio 3 will also broadcast the work later this year.

In a Lyric Theatre takeover, the Belfast Ensemble present the best of their last two years with a Triple Bill of their ground-breaking work:

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (2018) with an electric fusion of orchestra, video and actors this high-octane response to Poe’s horror classic is writ large here for the Lyric stage.

THE C*** OF QUEEN CATHERINE (2017) Written on the cusp of a referendum, this work for solo performer and chamber quintet – two years on – explores what happens when Europe divides in two Tudor-style.

LUNARIA (2019, premiere) A special performance of our new 15 work commissioned by PRSF for the New Music Biennial. Lunaria – a flower that blooms every two years – explores what is possible when artists of many disciplines make work together for two exciting years! See it here before it goes to Southbank Centre, London and Hull as part of the UK’s leading new music festival.

Composer Conor Mitchell said: “We have a platform here to comment of the current state of the world we live in. We wanted to make something that did not shy away from the horrendous fact that a young woman full of hope and ambition was killed for no reason. The piece examines news events over two years; it seems fitting that her murder be included in this and it is, we hope, something that causes pause for thought and helps highlight the issues all around us now.”

The weekend will culminate in The Pirates of Penzance on Sun 30th June, which sees local hero, playwright and actress Marie Jones OBE making her opera début as the Chief of Police. Marie joins a host of top singers and orchestra for one night only in the rip roaring concert.

Mitchell said: “Marie brings a huge sense of irreverence to the concert. That’s what the show’s about: laughing at the establishment and singing some brilliant tunes along the way. We’re over the moon to have her on board.”

Jimmy Fay, Lyric Theatre Executive Producer said “Any of the Ensemble’s creations are essential theatrical experiences for all of us who care about theatre, art and music in Belfast”.

BASH – TRIPLE BILL appears at the Lyric Theatre, 28/29/30 JUNE 2019

Tickets are available at or call box office on 028-9038-1081

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