One of the areas where women are lacking in visibility is in the area of conducting and composing. This Thursday, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day composer and conductor Eimear Noone has put together This is Ireland a star studded evening celebrating Irish heritage. Eímear knew she wanted to conduct from a very young age, but after University as she pursued her dream she was told be a mentor told her she had three things going against her “you are young, you’re Irish and you’re female.” She refused to be thwarted and started her own orchestra the Dublin City Concert Orchestra.
She relocated to LA and now Eimear conducts for the Los Angeles Ballet and teaches conducting at UCLA.
She talks about her motivation for creating this event.
It started with this realization: Since the downtown Los Angeles Irish parade was canceled, there is no central public celebration anywhere in Los Angeles on St. Patrick’s Day! I was aware of private events but felt frustrated that I couldn’t find something that presented an authentic celebration of Irish culture to the greater Los Angeles population. The Irish spirit is to be inclusive and as a very proud Irish woman who loves my adopted city, I wanted to share those things I love about my own culture with my colleagues and friends and also examine the unique situation of being Irish in LA. We’re not a people that passively sit by and think “oh, such a pity, I wish someone would do something about that,” we’re used to being proactive in our adopted countries and taking an active part in the community. It is in this spirit that I dared each other to take a leap of faith and do something about it!
As I started out on this production I found that I had accidentally hit a nerve with my Irish, Irish American and Los Angeleno friends. I started reaching out to my colleagues, telling them what I wanted to do, they universally encouraged me. What surprised me most what how supportive they were in my effort, stating, “If you create this celebration, not only will we come, but we will help you make it a reality.” The Los Angeles Irish artist community has risen to the task. In addition to Pierce Brosnan and Roma Downey, I also have a host of exceptional young Irish actors, opera singers, rock singers, musicians, dancers. When word got out about the show I had people calling me from nowhere saying do you need a… dancer/actor/swordmaster?! As well as being a fun celebratory event, I’m hoping that this can be a type of showcase for Irish talent in LA.
We Irish are fiercely proud of our history and culture but there’s much more to us than that. In Irish, there is a word, “flathiúlacht”; It’s direct translation is often “hospitality,” but it goes so much deeper than that. It means being a good neighbor, taking in a stranger if you find them lost on the road, or making sure that a visitor has a good time. It means putting humanity and the situations of those joining us in this, sometimes harsh, sometimes glorious human experience above all and doing things in a good natured way, even if it doesn’t mean one is doing things in the most coldly logical, or self-serving way. In this way, “flathiúlacht” is what we want for our guests at our show – that they leave the theater entertained, enlightened, and knowing that when in our care, they were well looked after.
This is Ireland: A Gala St. Patrick’s Day Concert and Celebration!
Thursday, Mar 17 8:00p
University of California, Los Angeles: Royce Hall, Los Angeles, CA
Purchase tickets here