The Cello Suites… A Review

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The Cello Suites. A REVIEW BY GEORGE FLEETON The first of four Liquid Lunches, The Cello Suites, was served up in the Buck’s Head Dundrum on January 19th with appetites whetted by the poetry of Maria McManus and the fiddle-playing of Susan Hughes – a last minute substitute for her brother cellist Tom. In a bright, high-ceilinged function room at the rear of the premises, an audience, almost entirely female, clearly relished the home spun good humoured and evocative poems of Fermanagh-inspired McManus, some published, some being trialled, interspersed by a raft of toe-tapping fiddle music learnt in south Donegal. Whether the voice and the violin were meant to be harmonised or counter pointed was difficult to discern but the overall effect was relaxed and unpretentious. There aren’t enough of these lower profile arts events, with their specialised appeal and short duration, doing the rounds but this was a good start, especially as the three remaining Liquid Lunches are each different in plot and character from this one and from each other. Full details on page 13 of the Ultimate Guide or at www.downartscentre.com On a wider canvas, there are introduced screenings of The Big Sleep (with Bogart and Bacall, 1946) in the QFT on February 7th and Nosferatu (with Max Schreck, 1922) in the Ulster Hall, to the sounds of Martin Baker, organist at Westminster Cathedral, on February 8th Then there is John Adams’ opera Nixon in China, conducted by the composer, in the Odyssey on February 12th live from the Met in New York, followed by the only fully staged performance in Northern Ireland of Donizetti’s opera Don Pasquale in the Great Hall on February 24th (tickets £15 from the St Patrick Centre, 028 4461 2233). How’s that for variety in arts-within-our-reach in just one month? ]]>

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