Seamus Heaney performed at our very first Festival in 1974, and this year, to mark the 10th anniversary of his death, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra presents Sweeney, a song cycle based on his poem Sweeney Astray.
Heaney’s poem is a version of the 7th-century Irish saga, Buile Shuibhne, a poem about the clash between the natural and man-made world, and the role of race, religion and family, that still speaks to us today.
Composed by Neil Martin and conducted by David Brophy, with vocals from Iarla Ó Lionáird and narration by Ciarán Hinds, Sweeney brings Heaney’s words to life in a memorable tribute to one of Ireland’s greatest poets.
Broadcaster John Kelly will interview Neil Martin before the show begins.
Iarla Ó Lionáird vocals
Ciarán Hinds narrator
Neil Martin Sweeney
RTÉ Concert Orchestra
conducted by David Brophy