A new CD ‘Contemporary Irish’ by the Dublin Guitar Quartet features Prism (2003) and Song (2002).
The Duo for Clarinet and Piano (1991) features on a new CD by clarinetist John Finucane and Elisaveta Blumina, piano.
22 RTE television feature a live broadcast of Morning Prayer with the choir of Christ Church Cathedral Waterford, directed by Eric Sweeney, with music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Elgar, Mozart and Stanford.
3 John Finucane, clarinet and Elisaveta Blumina, piano, play Duo for Clarinet and Piano (1991) in the Kevin Barry Room at the National Concert Hall, Dublin
4 Duo for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (1991) played by Gerard McChrystal sax and Katherine Page piano broadcast RTE Lyric FM.
5 Swedish organist Mikael Wahlin plays The Widening Gyre (2003) in Engelbrekt’s church, Stockholm.
The second opera by Eric and writer Mark Roper The Green One (2015) was performed as part of the Imagine Festival in Waterford in October 2016.
The Green One SYNOPSIS
Ishtar was a Babylonian goddess, the Queen of Heaven. She loved Tammuz, God of Fertility and Harvest. There are many versions of the story, but the one I’m using here is a simplified one. Essentially, Ishtar sends Tammuz down to the Earth to ensure better conditions for its inhabitants. He does this so effectively that she becomes jealous and has him killed. The Earth then begins to die. Ishtar responds to the desperate pleas of its inhabitants by agreeing to descend to the Underworld, to get Tammuz back. To enter the Underworld, she must pass through its seven gates, which she manages to do. Her hated sister Allatu rules the Underworld. At last Ishtar manages to secure the release of Tammuz, but only on condition that he returns to the Underworld for 6 months every year. They return to the earth, to the great joy of all. From now on, the Earth will experience a cycle of Summer and Winter (Mark Roper).
Eric has received commissions from Waterford Institute of Technology’s Choral Programme for a new work for massed choirs to be performed in May, and from the West Wales Arts Centre to write a work illustrating the Fishguard Tapestry as well as from the Imagine Festival for a new opera The Green One, a collaboration with the writer Mark Roper.
24 Swedish organist Mikael Wahlin plays The Widening Gyre (2003) in Gustav Vasa Church, Stockholm.
6 My true love has my heart (2011) for a capella SATB sung by The Edge Chamber Choir, conducted by Ros Crouch, United Reform Church in Church Stretton, Shropshire UK
13 My true love has my heart (2011) for a capella SATB sung by The Edge Chamber Choir, conducted by Ros Crouch, St Laurence’s Church, Ludlow, Shropshire UK
14 Swedish organist Mikael Wahlin plays The Widening Gyre (2003) in Masthuggskyrkan church, Gothenberg.
10 Abendlied (2006) performed by Catriona Grimes, piano, Nadia Grimes, flute and Alma Grimes, cello at the Dublin Feis Ceoil (Irish Music Festival)
17 Max O’Neil and Donnacha O’Driscoll, members of the Piccolo Lasso choir, won gold medals in the Dublin Feis Ceol for their performance of the Gloria from the Missa Brevis (1995).
20 RTE Lyric FM broadcast Ceol Rince Ros Mhic Threoin (New Ross Dance Music), (2009)
18/20 Eric gives a talk on Evening: the Lighthouse at Hook Head (2015) and Ceol Rince Ros Mhic Threoin (New Ross Dance Music), both written for the New Ross Piano Festival, at the West Wales Arts Centre in Fishguard as part of a seminar on commissioned music.
25 Good Friday Rachmaninov’s Vespers performed by candlelight by the cathedral choir at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, director Eric Sweeney.
27 Easter Sunday The cathedral choir will sing Schubert’s Mass in G as part of the eucharist and the Easter Music from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni.
9 Swedish organist Mikael Wahlin plays The Widening Gyre (2003) in Kalmar, Sweden.
23 First rehearsal of the opera The Green One (2015)
28 Eric plays Three Pieces from the Mass of St Patrick (2006) at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin
5 Elspeth Hayes (mezzo soprano) Mary Scarlett (piano) and Shane Kendrick (clarinet) perform The Moon Cradle (1995) at the Peppercannister church in Dublin.
21 Mass of St Patrick (2006) performed by the Edge Chamber Choir, conducted by Ros Crouch, organist Eric Sweeney, together with the Durufle Requiem, St Laurence’s Ludlow, Shropshire UK. Eric also plays organ music by Stanford and Guilmant.
26 Waterford Institute of Technology’s Choral Programme will premiere Two Songs for massed choirs, conducted by Niall Crowley as part of its concert at the College Street Campus. The programme also includes There is no Rose (1981) sung by the Waterford Youth Choir.
28 The cathedral choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, director Eric Sweeney participate in a Three Choir’s Concert at St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick together with the cathedral choirs of St Canice’s, Kilkenny and St Mary’s, Limerick. Programme to include Schubert’s Mass in G and Parry’s ‘I was Glad’.
10 Katy Hyland, flute, and Fiona Gryson, harp, play Walk, Don’t Walk (2002) at the International Association of Music Information Centre (IAMIC) Conference 2016 in Galway City Museum
12 Eric plays organ in the performance of Gounod’s Messe Solonnelle and Mozart’s Laudate Dominum and Exsultate, jubilate with the New Ross Singers and the I Musici, Ireland orchestra conducted by Connie Tantrum.
16 Four scenes from Eric’s new opera Ulysses (2015), adapted by writer Andrew Basquille, will be performed by members of the Opera Department of the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, directed by Andrea Basquille and conducted by David Bremner, at the various locations around Dublin where they are set, as part of Bloomsday.
10 am Telemachus – Martello Tower, Sandycove
11am Nestor – Harold Boys’ School, Dalkey
5 pm Sirens – Sin E Bar, Ormond Quay
6 pm Oxen of the sun -National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street
7 Bratislava Youth Music Festival There is no Rose (1981) sung by the Waterford Youth Choir, conducted by Niall Crowley at St Martin’s Cathedral.
2 Eric adjudicates the Young Composers’ Competition at the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
4-14 The Moon Cradle (1995) will be performed as part of a tour in China and Korea by Virginia Kerr and Paul Roe.
16 As part of Culture Night 2016 the cast of The Green One, a new opera by Mark Roper and Eric Sweeney, will perform and discuss excerpts from the opera in Christ Church cathedral at 8.pm (duration 30 – 40 minutes). Admission is free. The full opera will be performed as part of the Imagine Festival in Waterford on 27, 28 and 29 October. The cast includes several singers who appeared in Mark and Eric’s highly acclaimed first opera The Invader which won a number of awards in 2014 including Outstanding Performance of the Year in the Waterford News and Star as well as Best Musical Director, Best Director in an Opera and Best Choreographer.
17 RTE Lyric FM Evening: the Lighthouse at Hook Head (2015) played by German pianist Olga Scheps
17 8pm National Concert Hall, Dublin ‘Strings in the earth and air’ (1988) played by Concorde members, Elaine and Adele Johnson (violin and cello) as part of the festival ‘Composing the Island.’
24 RTE Radio 1John Feely, guitar, plays An Cailin Alainn (2003)
24 National Concert Hall. John Feely, guitar, plays An Cailin Alainn (2003) as part of the festival ‘Composing the Island.’
19 There is no Rose (1981) sung by UCD Choral Scholars in St. Bartholomew’s Church, Dublin, conducted by Des Earley.
23 Grow HQ Waterford. 12.00 Excerpts from The Green One (2015) introduced by librettist Mark Roper and performed by Eoin Power baritone and Elspeth Hayes mezzo soprano accompanied by the composer.
25 Interview and excerpts from The Green One (2015) Arena arts programme, RTE Radio 1.
27 Three pieces for saxophone, piano and strings (1999) will be performed by Gavin Brennan sax, Aileen Cahill piano and members of the Con Tempo Quartet at the Lutheran Hall Dublin.
28 Premiere of the opera The Green One (2015) at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, Imagine Festival.
29 The Green One (2015) at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, Imagine Festival.
30 The Green One (2015) at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, Imagine Festival
Following the success of the opera The Invader (2014), composer Eric Sweeney and librettist Mark Roper have collaborated on a second opera The Green One which is planned to premiere in 2016. A third opera Ulysses, written in collaboration with writer Andrew Basquille, is an adaptation of the novel by James Joyce.
Eric has received a commission from the New Ross Piano Festival to write a work based on the New Ross Tapestry for the next festival in September 2015. The piece, based on the tapestry, Evening: the Lighthouse at Hook Head will be premiered by German pianist Olga Scheps on Saturday Sept 26th.
30 Three pieces for saxophone, piano and strings (1999) was played at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin on January 30th by Gavin Brennan, sax, Aileen Cahill, piano and members of the RTE Con Tempo String Quartet.
27 Organist Peter Barley played The Widening Gyre (2003) as part of his programme at the Ulster Hall, Belfast
6/7 Eric adjudicated at the Limerick Choral Festival
10 American organist Cal Johnson played Kyrie from Hymn to Gaia (2009 ) at First Presbyterian Church, Marietta, Georgia on March 18th as part of Celtic Concert
14 Organ recital at St Mary on the Hill Church, Augusta, Georgia as part of Celtic Celebration. Programme included The Secret Rose (2002) and Le Cercle de Lumiere (1999). In the same concert soprano Joanne McCabe sang Cradle Song from the song cycle The Moon Cradle (1995)
15 Organ recital at Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Savannah, Georgia as part of Celtic Celebration.Programme included The Secret Rose (2002) and Le Cercle de Lumiere (1999). In the same concert soprano Joanne McCabe sang Cradle Song from the song cycle The Moon Cradle (1995)
11 Taunton Choral Society and Taunton Sinfonietta, conducted by Stephen Bell, perform the cantata Hymn to Gaia (2009)
Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 Contemporary Music Centre, Dublin, Gavin Brennan, saxophone, and Aileen Cahill, piano, play Duo for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (1991)
26 The contemporary music ensemble Concorde plays Fanfare (2002) at the RHA Gallery in Dublin (2.30 and 4.30 pm).
21 Elspeth Hayes (mezzo soprano) performed Garland Sunday and Afterpiece from The Moon Cradle (1995) at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin.
26 Waterford Institute of Technology’s Choral Programme
6 Westminster Cathedral. Piccolo Lasso Choir, conductor Ite O’Donovan, sing Missa Brevis (1995)
7 Three Choirs’ Concert, St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny. The combined cathedral choirs of Waterford, Limerick and Kilkenny sang Schubert’s Mass in G and Parry’s ‘I was Glad’. Programme also included Mass of St Patrick (2006) sung by the choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford.
20 St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin. Le Cercle de Lumiere (1999) played by organist Gerard Gillen.
5 Organist Gerard GiIlen plays the Kyrie from the Mass of St Patrick (2006) and Le Cercle de Lumiere (1999) in the cathedral of Klagenfurt, Austria.
20 Organist Gerard GiIlen plays the Kyrie from the Mass of St Patrick (2006) and Le Cercle de Lumiere (1999) in Dunkerke, Belgium.
13 Organist Jan van Putten plays The Secret Rose (2002) in Beerta, Gronigen, Holland.
18 Gavin Brennan, sax and Aileen Cahill, piano play Duo for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (1991) at the Contemporary Music Centre’s Culture Night in Dublin.
26th.Evening: the Lighthouse at Hook Head premiered by German pianist Olga Scheps at New Ross Piano Festival 12 noon. Composer talk 11am.
7 An Cáilin Álainn (2015) and Ceol Rince Ros Mhic Treoin (2015), in a new arrangement for this concert, were played by Gavin Brennan, sax, Triona Marshall, Irish Harp and the Contempo String Quartet in Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. Eric also arranged March of the Three Ravens and The Silver Tear for harp and string quartet.
20 There is no Rose (1981) performed by the choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford as part of the Civic Carol service.
THE INVADER, an opera by Eric Sweeney with libretto by Mark Roper, was performed in May 2014, in Waterford and Wexford, directed by Ben Barnes. It formed part of the celebrations of the 1100th anniversary of Waterford as a city. Full details below.
An RTE Television news clip about the opera can be seen at
The libretto is based on The Bacchae, a play by the Greek dramatist Euripides. It’s a visceral, elemental story, in which the God Dionysus returns to the city of Thebes to take his revenge on King Pentheus, who has failed to pay due respect to the God’s shrine. Dionysus charms the women of Thebes out of the city into the forest and turns them into the Bacchae, wild creatures who will eventually tear Pentheus to pieces.
The play has fascinated the imagination from the start. There have been at least 3 operas based on it, including one with a libretto by W.H. Auden. The poets Derek Mahon and C.K. Williams have made translations, and Ted Hughes worked on one. My libretto is not a translation, it is best described perhaps as a version of the story. My aim was to create a vehicle for the music of course, but also to create a vehicle for dramatic spectacle. It is intended that the production will utilize movement, dance, costume, lighting and set in as dramatic way as possible (Mark Roper).
THE INVADER A New Irish Opera
Performance Dates & Venues:
Theatre Royal Waterford, 23rd (Premiere) & 24th May 2014
Wexford Opera House 30th May 2014
Available for touring from 2015
Composer & Musical Director: Eric Sweeney
Libretto by: Mark Roper
Director: Ben Barnes
Designer: Monica Frawley
Lighting: John Comiskey
Movement: Libby Seward
Cast (12 singers) Including:
Telman Guzevsky, Joe Corbett, Natasha Jouhl & Alison Browner
Orchestra (10 piece)
Including ConTempo Quartet
T: +353 (0)87 280 4849
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March 9th. Medieval Museum, Waterford. concert/presentation by Eric Sweeney/composer, Mark Roper/writer and Paddy Dwan/photographer.
March 21st 8pm. To introduce The Invader a series of workshops titled ‘Let’s Make an Opera’ begins in the Greyfriar’s Gallery, Waterford. The event is jointly promoted by Waterford New Music Music Week and Waterford Writers’ Weekend.
March 21st 11am.The Creative Arts Programme for Music and Poetry in Secondary Schools with composer Eric Sweeney and poet Mark Roper continued in January culminating in a concert with participating schools in Christ Church Cathedral as part of Waterford New Music Music Week.
March 23rd.The Mass of St Patrick (2006) performed by the choir of Christ Church Cathedral as part of Waterford New Music Music Week.
April 8th. Stillorgan Hotel, Dublin. ‘Let’s Make an Opera’ public presentation to introduce The Invader
April 18th. Christ Church Cathedral Waterford. Haydn ‘Seven Last Words’ sung, in German, by the cathedral choir, director Eric Sweeney
April 20th Easter Sunday. The Mass of St Patrick (2006) performed by the choir of Christ Church Cathedral, director Eric Sweeney
28th April to May 22nd. Rehearsal schedule for The Invader.(2013)
May 12th. Wexford Opera House. ‘Let’s Make an Opera’
May 15th. Gerard McChrystal, sax, plays Duo (1991) at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival.
May 22nd. Theatre Royal, Waterford. The Invader (2013) Open dress rehearsal
May 23rd. Theatre Royal, Waterford. The Invader (2013) Premiere
May 24th Theatre Royal, Waterford. The Invader (2013)
May 30th. Wexford Opera House.The Invader (2013)
June 13th. Clare Donegan, organ, plays Le Cercle de Lumiere (1991) at the Fete de la Musique in Luxembourg
July 19th. Organ recital, Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford. Programme includes music by Buxtehude, Walther and JS Bach as well as The Bright Seraphim (1999) Kyrie from Hymn to Gaia (2013) Down the Ladder – theme music from the film- (2013) and Le Cercle de Lumiere (1999).
August 9th, 98.7 WFMT broadcast ‘Relevant Tones’ Eric Sweeney: Ceol Rince Ros Mhic Treoin (New Ross Dance Music 2009) Finghin Collins, Dearbhla Collins & Alexander Bernstein, p.new music::new Ireland
August 24th. Organ recital St Michael’s Church, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. Programme includes music by Buxtehude, Walther and JS Bach as well as The Bright Seraphim (1999) Kyrie from Hymn to Gaia (2013) Down the Ladder – theme music from the film- (2013) and Le Cercle de Lumiere (1999).
October 5th. Christ is the World’s Redeemer (1999) Choir of First Presbyterian Church, Bentonville, Arizona, USA, director André Styrdom.
October 28th. Organ improvisation to the silent movie ‘The Cabinet of Dr Caligari’, Spiegel Tent, Wexford Opera Festival fringe event.
November 4th. St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, Peter Barley plays The Secret Rose (2002).
December 12th. Dedham Choral Society (Massachusetts, USA) musical director Jonathan Barnhart. When Christ was born of Mary free (1981) Christ is the World’s Redeemer (1999) Magnificat (2007)
December 14th. The UK based choir Canto sing There is no Rose (1981) at Church Stretton, Shropshire.
The Secret Rose (2002) has been set as a test piece for the Archbishop of Dublin’s Certificate in Church Music and also for the Royal Irish Academy of Music’s organ syllabus.