Derry~Londonderry launches Ireland’s “richest ever cultural programme”
The first edition of the programme for Derry~Londonderry 2013, the UK’s first City of Culture, was announced today.
Derry~Londonderry in Northern Ireland will play host to a world-class programme which includes the Turner Prize presented outside England for the first time; a new commission by the London Symphony Orchestra; award-winning choreographer Hofesh Shechter; the return of Field Day; a new play by American playwright Sam Shepard; local Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney; and the first visit to Northern Ireland of the Royal Ballet for over 20 years.
Announcing the programme today, Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company 2013, said: “We hope that Derry~Londonderry’s City of Culture year brings a sense of joy, a sense of ambition, a sense of pride in our community, a sense of being part of a global community, and in the end a sense of achievement – that we all did this together and it meant something. A huge success for a small city.”
Mayor of Derry Cllr Kevin Campbell said: “The City of Culture year will transform our city and region. The range of contemporary music, dance, theatre, arts and performance events will link our diverse communities in programmes of celebration. The exciting programme of events scheduled for 2013 will encourage, develop and showcase our amazing cultural talent to the world and lay the foundations for economic prosperity for years to come.”
Welcoming the programme, the Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said:
"2013 promises to be a momentous year for Derry and for this part of Ireland. With such an exciting programme of events to suit everyone's tastes, the endorsement this week from the Lonely Planet and the sheer dedication to make this happen, Derry City of Culture is not to be missed. Derry is ready to embrace this opportunity and to showcase Ireland's rich culture and heritage on the local and international stage."
The year will open with Sons & Daughters, a spectacular free concert on Sunday 20 January 2013, staged in a new purpose-built pavilion in the heart of the city on the banks of the River Foyle. The concert will celebrate Derry’s rich musical heritage co-produced by BBC Television for broadcast.
Among the highlights of the programme across the year are:
The Return of Field Day: May - September
Playwright Brian Friel and actor/director Stephen Rea founded Field Day in Derry in 1980. For over 30 years Field Day has been a potent theatrical grouping, credited with altering the terms in which culture and politics have been debated in Ireland, and Northern Ireland especially. Celebrating the return of the company to Derry, they will present the world premiere of a new play, workshopped in Derry, by internationally acclaimed playwright, actor and director, Sam Shepard.
There will be an exhibition on the history of Field Day, and The Field Day archive held at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin, will be opened up for free access online, leaving a lasting legacy from the season. Field Day will also raise the curtain on the year with two new works by Northern Irish writers, Clare Dwyer Hogg and David Ireland, directed by Stephen Rea.
Alongside this, there will be a season of plays by Brian Friel presented by local venues including the Millennium Forum and the Playhouse including Performances, The Enemy Within, Freedom of the City, and the seminal Translations directed by Adrian Dunbar, premiered by Field-Day at the Guildhall in Derry in 1980.
The Conquest of Happiness (Summer)
In summer 2013, Derry~Londonderry will host the world premiere of The Conquest of Happiness, a large-scale open-air performance inspired by Bertrand Russell’s famous essay on happiness, led by the internationally acclaimed Bosnian director Haris Pasovic, and featuring artists from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Bosnia-Herzogovina and Slovenia.
The Return of Colmcille (June)
A city-wide spectacle taking place over a whole weekend devised by Frank Cottrell Boyce, writer of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, with Walk the Plank. The 24 hour performance spread over three days celebrates Colmcille, the warrior monk who founded the city, a seminal historical figure in the story of Ireland.
Teenage Kicks: A Punk Musical (November)
Set in Derry during the late 1970s, when The Undertones, perhaps Derry’s most famous export, burst onto the scene, this new musical is written by Northern Irish award-winning novelist and screenwriter Colin Bateman (‘Divorcing Jack’, ‘Murphy’s Law’). Featuring classic songs from the punk era, Teenage Kicks is about being a kid, rebelling against authority and falling in love. Children and young people in the city will take part in a Music Festival alongside the production.
The Music Promise
The Music Promise is a year-long programme of inspirational learning for children and young people in Derry. More than 7,000 of the youngest children will take part in the programme, schools all over the city will participate, and thousands of free tickets will be given to schools to ensure that young people are at the heart of the music offering of the city.
Music City (June)
Derry is known throughout the world as a City of Song, with its rich musical heritage – from the Londonderry Air to the Undertones anthem Teenage Kicks. Music City will transform the whole city into a stage for local and international professional and amateur musicians in partnership with Exit Festival of Serbia bringing music from cities on the edge throughout the world to Derry – Beirut, Tblisi, Tel Aviv, Harare, Havana, Sao Paolo.
Phil Coulter and Friends (June)
Phil Coulter will return to Derry for the biggest and most ambitious concert he has ever performed in his hometown. He will be joined by the Ulster Orchestra and guests for this unique concert.
The Fleadh (August)
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is unsurpassed as the biggest festival of Irish culture anywhere in the world. It includes traditional music, pageants, marching bands, competitions, ceili bands, concerts and singing as well as drama and exhibitions. The Fleadh will take place across the city for the first time, transforming Derry into one enormous performance space over the course of seven days and playing host to over 300,000 visitors, as the city becomes the Mecca for the cream of traditional talent.
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (August)
The Orchestra will take up residence in the city presenting performances and workshops including the 200th anniversary performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with musicians and singers from England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland conducted by Vasily Petrenko. Members of the National Youth Orchestra will pair up with local young musicians to give 100 mini-concerts in peoples homes, on the streets, in the community, of new duets inspired by Beethoven’s Ode To Joy.
LSO at City of Culture (March and July)
The London Symphony Orchestra brings to Derry~Londonderry the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s At Sixes and Sevens, a new cantata featuring texts by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon. This major commission will be performed simultaneously by the LSO and Camerata Ireland in the two Guildhalls of London and Derry~Londonderry on 3rd July 2013. Earlier in the year, the LSO will present a programme of film music by John Williams, including his scores for Star Wars and Schindler’s List, at the former Ebrington Barracks on 18th March 2013.
Other Voices: From Kerry to Derry (February)
Dingle’s legendary Other Voices Festival, edited by musician Philip King, will expand to London with the Barbican and to Derry~Londonderry featuring world famous musicians in tiny venues broadcast to the world.
There will be special editions of the city’s longstanding flagship music festivals, including the acclaimed Jazz Festival and Celtronic, the island’s leading electronic music festival.
Political Mother Derry~Londonderry Uncut March 2013
Hofesh Shechter and his company will be resident in the city for five weeks. He will re-imagine his acclaimed work Political Mother, originally staged at Sadler’s Wells, with a live band of 20 young local musicians performing alongside his own company of international musicians and dancers. He will also create five new pieces of choreography in collaboration with local dance groups, taking the dance out into the streets of Derry for free performances at landmarks across the city.
The Royal Ballet (March)
The first visit of The Royal Ballet to Northern Ireland in over 20 years and a home-coming for ballerina Melissa Hamilton, who comes from County Down, in a special Gala performance by members of the Company with the Ulster Orchestra.
Echo Echo Dance Company (November)
The City of Culture Year will be the launch-pad for Northern Ireland’s first dedicated dance and movement festival, created by the province’s only professional dance company, Echo Echo, cementing Derry’s role as a centre of excellence for dance culture. They will also premiere a new work by Rosemary Lee.
Boy Blue (October)
Jointly commissioned by the Barbican in London and Derry~Londonderry 2013, Boy Blue, the Olivier Award-winning dance company behind Pied Piper, will premiere a new production taking inspiration from the world of Manga, martial arts, the quirky and impossible physical feats so central to the comic book genre.
Grand Vintage Ball (May)
An opportunity for the whole community to step out and dress up for a vintage 50s style ball.
Turner Prize (October 2013-January 2014)
Turner Prize, founded by Tate in 1984, will come to Derry~Londonderry, the first time it has ever been held outside England. The exhibition will be staged in a bespoke renovated building on Ebrington Square, the site of a former military barracks.
Willie Doherty Unseen (October)
Unseen will be the largest ever exhibition of works by acclaimed Derry born artist Willie Doherty. The exhibition will feature works from throughout Doherty’s career as well as a new series of photographs taken in Derry in 2013. It will also showcase a number of Doherty’s most important video installations that make use of some of Derry’s best-known and more hidden places for his narratives, as well as a new film. The exhibition is co-curated by Robin Klassnik of Matt’s Gallery, London, and the Nerve Centre, Derry.
The Shirt Factory Project
Derry was the shirt-making capital of the world until the industry went East from the 1980s onwards. Ex-shirt factory workers will return to the former factory building in a project led by artist Rita Duffy, creating a pop-up gallery and producing new shirts in this mini art factory.
Derry~Londonderry’s award-winning Peace Bridge and Ebrington Square project is transforming the site of the former Ebrington Army Barracks, creating an important new city centre link over the River Foyle. The former Parade Ground is already established as a major new outdoor space for concerts and festivals. In 2013 the former barracks building will be transformed to create a large-scale cultural space for the city.
Walls 400! (January – December)
Marking the 400th anniversary of the City Walls in 2013, one of the most important features of Derry~Londonderry’s landscape, there will be a year long programme of activities to fully explore the contested history that the Walls represent and to celebrates them as a present-day national heritage asset, with the potential to unite rather than separate people.
72 Hour Urban Action (September)
A competition in which ten teams of architects and volunteers have 72 hours to transform ten city spaces.
The historic walls city of Derry~Londonderry provides a spectacular canvas for this critically acclaimed festival of light, first staged in Durham, produced by Artichoke with principal event partner NIE.
Three artists, Locky Morris, Katie Holten and Ackroyd & Harvey, will create new art gardens for the city, working with leading local contemporary art gallery The Void.
The Walled City Tattoo (August)
The Walled City Tattoo is a blend of home and international talent. With a 600 strong cast, music, song, dance and theatre will display a vivid reflection on our coloured history. Traditional favourites will feature as Highland and Irish dancers come together to present a whirling and vibrant display that fuses the main cultures within our society.
Portrait of a City in Association with BT
Portrait of a City in Association with BT will create an unparalleled digital resource of photographs, film and oral history documenting the historical, cultural and personal stories of Derry~Londonderry. Working with community groups, schools, libraries, archives and with a drop-in office open to all, these stories will be collected over the course of 2013, and made available online at www.portraitofacity.com Alongside this, BT will host a comprehensive series of digital training programmes giving people of all ages the necessary skills to participate and contribute to the project.
Foyle Film Festival 2013 (November)
Foyle Film Festival is one of only a handful of international film festivals with Oscar affiliation and BAFTA recognition. During 2013, the Festival, organised by the Nerve Centre, will spread out into the open air for the first time with screenings in unusual locations, directors’ talks, and a community based cinema initiative engaging local communities in making and screening films about their areas.
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
40% of Derry’s population is under 25, making it one of the youngest cities in the UK. Numerous special initiatives for children and young people will be spread across the programme for the year. Among these events are:
Waterside Youth Forum will present the city’s first International World Peace Summit in September, encouraging dialogue, reflection and exploration amongst young people from areas of conflict throughout Europe.
All local post-primary schools will take part in a collaborative project to produce an anthology of short stories, showcasing the best of young talent in Derry~Londonderry.
Children will participate in the creation of a new digital Book of Kells. Digital artists based at Derry’s multi-media Nerve Centre, will create a suite of online digital resources to assist children and teachers to bring to life the Celtic artwork and vitality of the illuminated manuscripts.
All school children in Northern Ireland will have the opportunity to visit the Turner Prize exhibition.LITERATURE (March – September)
Roddy Doyle and Julia Donaldson headline the Children’s Literature Festival while Carol Ann Duffy in partnership with John A Sampson lead the way during Poetry Month. Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney will give the opening address at the Poetry Festival 2013 and his work will be featured alongside international poets in The Poetry House in September.