Celebrating 100 years of Irish independence!
Informative, educational as well as entertaining!
Chicago based Irish tenor, PADDY HOMAN is to feature in a theatrically
staged one man show that will tour nationally in 2016, to remember the
upcoming 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising in Ireland. "I AM
IRELAND" will take audiences on a journey through the songs, speeches
and images, honoring and celebrating the Irish road to freedom.
Produced by Emmy® nominated producer and singer, Michael Londra, "I AM IRELAND" is really a personal conversation about some of the songs, speeches and stories which inspired all those who came before 1916 to continue on that great journey to reclaim Ireland’s independence.
Presented in 2 acts with images projected to bring to life the faces of the great statesmen and pictures of the time, Paddy performs with a 3 piece band of the finest Irish traditional musicians in North America.They bring the songs to life, they weave through the words of statesmen, and they celebrate the glory of our music, the glory of our nation.
Homan, the renowned Chicago singer has a strong history with the songs.
" As I reflect on the many compelling reasons on why we created the “I AM IRELAND” project, I am reminded of the many years I spent growing up in Cork city and pondering an inner calling to do something for my country. Indeed, coming from an Irish nationalist family with a working class background on the Northside of Cork city, I heard many great songs as a child which I was captivated by; songs like ‘Grace’ and Four Green Fields being the early ones. Being taught by the Irish Christian Brothers imprinted in me a great love for Ireland, its language, its customs and its people, and the rebel County of course!"
Paddy continues "That inner calling was to nag me for many years and I must say that I spent many a night in Cork city, whether on the side of river Lee fishing and thinking about these songs, or other times , perhaps ‘supping over a pint’ and toiling at what would be my purpose; politics or a life of service for others? In the end I chose a life of service. This was my road less travelled and it has been the guiding light of my life."
"Singing these great rebel songs from a young age and indeed throughout my life to date has calmed that inner calling. The more I sang these songs, the more they came alive and spoke to me. I suppose it satisfied whatever republican call I might have had, or the family I grew up within."
"We are looking at the journey from 1798 to 1916 from a subjective / narrative perspective. The 1798 period was an era when both Catholics and Protestants came together as one unified force, and some the songs at that time symbolize this sense of unity and hope.
"Sean O’ Riada, who can be compared to the Gershwin of Irish music, says that we are only the messengers of the music and the songs. In singing these songs, we make the spirit of that person, who in writing the song or story, come alive. So it’s not about the person singing it but the immortal story within this song."
"And so I think that all those years ago, as people fought, died, and starved; one abiding mode of survival were songs and stories. It was the people’s connection to their past, passed down from generation to generation, or to put it another way it was their mode of Social Media!"
"As they spoke the song, they may not have had food but were nourished with that unrelenting quest to keep that struggle for freedom alive which the great leaders started."
The piece is directed by Andrea Dymond
Music Direction by Sean Gavin
Sean Gavin’s playing on the flute, whistle and uilleann pipes reflects his lifelong love for traditional Irish music. Growing up in Detroit, he was first encouraged by his father, County Clare-born fiddle player, Mick Gavin. Sean played a variety of instruments before settling on the flute at age 11 with the help of Scariff flute-player Leo MacNamara. Not long after, he began work on the uilleann pipes with teacher Al Purcell—himself a student of famed piper Leo Rowsome. Currently residing in Chicago, he has been fortunate to spend time with Sligo flute legend Kevin Henry. Sean is a member of the critically acclaimed groups Bua and NicGaviskey and enjoys teaching and performing around Chicago. He also performs often with the Irish band Téada and serves as musical director of the new sean-nós dance performance ensemble, "Atlantic Steps."
The piece is produced by Wexfordhouse, a company formed in 2013 by Emmy® nominated producer and singer, Michael Londra. Current projects for Michael include producing several theatrical projects including CELTIC ILLUSION, a magic and dance show in Australia and Asia, ECLIPSE, a new Cirque style show and his own touring and recording projects.
Travel Party is 5 = 4 on stage + 1 crew