Tarik O’Regan ’Magna Carta’ Work in Belfast, Limerick and Dublin

Composer Tarik O’Regan

Tarik O’Regan ’Magna Carta’ Work in Belfast, Limerick and Dublin

'A Letter of Rights’ features Chamber Choir Ireland and Irish Chamber Orchestra.

The Irish premiere of a work inspired by the Magna Carta, which arrived in Ireland 800 years ago in February 1217 as the Magna Carta Hibernae, will take place this month.

Composed by British and American composer Tarik O’Regan, with a text by Alice Goodman, the large-scale A Letter of Rights will be performed in St Thomas’ Church, Belfast (23 February), St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick (25th) and Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (26th) by Chamber Choir Ireland and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. A fourteenth-century copy of the Magna Carta is currently exhibited at Christ Church Cathedral.

The Great Charter of Ireland (Magna Carta Hiberna) was a copy of the English Magna Carta, which has become an iconic document symbolising democratic freedoms. A Letter of Rights was commissioned by Salisbury Cathedral in 2015.

Commenting on the work, O’Regan said,

Musically, the piece as a whole was inspired by a conversation I had with Alice… the idea of making a mark… this sort of circular motion, or a sort of palindromic motion. 

The cantata explores the text of clauses 39 and 40 (a right to due legal process) with a structure formed of eight sections separated by short instrumental interludes framed by a prelude and postlude. It is palindromic, with a passage in Section 5 at its axis. 

Partnering A Letter of Rights in the programme is Handel’s virtuosic Dixit Dominus

As well as the concert performances, on Sunday 19 February a public lecture on A Letter of Rights and Dixit Dominus will take place in Limerick, and the following Sunday in Christ Church there will be a family workshop titled ‘Make Your own Mini Magna Carta’.

In addition, on 24 February at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, O’Regan, Artistic Director Paul Hillier and Chamber Choir Ireland will give a workshop on choral writing to three Irish composers. The composers, Amanda Feery, Michael Gallen and Seán Doherty, were selected after a competitive process last year.

For full details on all events, visit https://goo.gl/Q7AcRa

This item is supported by Chamber Choir Ireland.

Published on 8 February 2017

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