After 2 years of adapted festivals, today Kilkenny Arts Festival Director Olga Barry unveiled the 2022 programme designed to connect audiences once again with artists that invigorate, intrigue and inspire.
The festival runs for 11 days from 4-14 August. Live music, which was sorely missed during the restrictions, is back in force alongside exciting theatre, dance, opera and literary events which includes a number of festival commissions and co-productions. 11 days, over 100 performances in Kilkenny’s most iconic and beautiful spaces across the Marble City.
Speaking today Festival Director Olga Barry said, “It’s a real thrill to announce a full programme of events for the 49th Edition of Kilkenny Arts Festival. We’re very excited to welcome back full audiences to experience all these things we love about Kilkenny in August and looking forward to that special Marble City magic!”
Kilkenny Arts Festival returns to a full programme of music featuring Anne Sofie von Otter, Brooklyn Rider, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Chamber Choir Ireland, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Carducci String Quartet, Malcolm Proud, Ailish Tynan, Tara Erraught, the Rollercoaster Sessions, Secret Garden Music, the Marble City Sessions with co-curator Martin Hayes and much more.
Deirdre Gribbin’s new song cycle is premiered by Sharon Carty and ICO, while poet in residence Theo Dorgan and Colm Mac Con Iomaire bring their ambitious new bilingual work to the Watergate Theatre and Paula Meehan performs her response to Joyce’s Ulysses in the centenary year of its publication.
Audiences can look forward to a new production of Handel’s Semele with Opera Collective Ireland, directed by Patrick Mason and Rough Magic bring their special alchemy to the Parklands of Kilkenny Castle for a new production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest directed by Lynne Parker. Eszter Némethi’s Speak Like No One In Particular will challenge audiences to explore the ways in which we ‘other’ each other, and in Callan we get a peek at the development of The Local, a major new site-sensitive play from Asylum Productions, coming in 2023.
Irish National Opera returns to Kilkenny to premiere a virtual reality opera, Out of the Ordinary, directed by Jo Mangan; and Luke Murphy/Attic Projects see the River Nore become the stage for their new work, Slow Tide. Always a hit with Kilkenny audiences, thrilling aerialists Loosysmokes bring their new show In Rhythms to an atmospheric warehouse in Callan.
With Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Arts Festival presents a set of intriguing retrospective multimedia works from Kevin Atherton, and the Festival Gallery hosts an exhibition by the young artist Stephen Doyle whose work explores queer identity. Masha Gessen – who has written extensively on Russia, autocracy, LGBTQ+ rights, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, amongst others – delivers the 2022 Hubert Butler Lecture, and the Hubert Butler Essay Prize is presented mid-festival amidst an exciting line-up of talks and readings at the Parade Tower.
Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals at Fáilte Ireland said: “Fáilte Ireland is pleased to support this year’s Kilkenny Arts Festival as it returns at full scale to County Kilkenny. Festivals such as this are a brilliant opportunity for visitors to experience what Ireland’s arts, heritage and culture have to offer as well as the best of Kilkenny and Ireland’s Ancient East. Festivals and Events are a key component of Ireland’s tourism offering and they provide unique and compelling reasons for a visitor to choose a destination. They also have the ability to drive footfall for local businesses, supporting jobs and revenue generation. Festivals such as the Kilkenny Arts Festival play an important role in the recovery of the tourism sector for the county and its surrounding areas.”