This performance has been two years in the making and began when composer Seán Millar began visiting the Bluebell Community Development Project as part of The National Neighbourhood, a Dublin City Council Culture Company programme.

Clients of the Bluebell Community Development Project visit the centre once a week for breakfast and social support. They include young adults with disabilities brought from their care projects, older men who live on their own, a group of older women who run the weekly lottery, as well as those recovering from various addiction issues.

The Stories

The stories that have emerged from the ongoing relationship built with the breakfast club, and gathered through the process of conversation, have been developed into a series of compositions that celebrate the richness of lives lived by all attending these weekly breakfasts. These songs are portraits of how people find joy amidst the everyday difficulties and they document a passion for history, night walks, unearthing via archaeology and pets.

Early versions of the compositions were performed by the Bluebell residents and a supplemented string quartet in Trinity College last year. Following on from this were visits to the National Concert Hall and workshops in composition which ignited a desire to bring the work to their full scale ambition, a public performance at the National Concert Hall. This was realised when the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra agreed to perform the works, which have now been orchestrated by Darragh O’Toole with Andrew Synnott conducting, with them. The concert which will take place on 17th September will be followed, naturally enough, by a Bluebell Breakfast in the National Concert Hall.

This project which is part of The National Neighbourhood, has been made in collaboration with Bluebell Community Development Project and musician Seán Millar and Dublin City Council Culture Company’s partnership with Dublin City Council’s public libraries, South Central Area office, Arts Office and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, with the National Concert Hall and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.

The National Neighbourhood

The National Neighbourhood is a Dublin City Council Culture Company programme that builds cultural projects in community settings. By connecting artists, groups and villages with libraries, museums and creative places, to create, connect and explore together across Dublin city.

The National Neighbourhood is a partnership, initiated in 2016, between Dublin City Council Culture Company (formerly Dublin’s Culture Connects) with Dublin City Council’s Libraries, Area Offices, Arts Office and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane with the National Cultural Institutions, which are The Abbey Theatre, The National Museum of Ireland, The National Library of Ireland, The National Gallery of Ireland, The National Concert Hall, Chester Beatty, the National Archives and The Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Dublin City Council Culture Company runs cultural initiatives and buildings across the city with, and for, the people of Dublin. Find out more at dublincitycouncilculturecompany.ie.

Partners

Made by Dublin City Council Culture Company in partnership with Dublin City Council (Dublin City Libraries, local area offices, Arts Office, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane) and National Cultural Institutions (Abbey Theatre, Chester Beatty, Irish Museum of Modern Art, National Archives, National Concert Hall, National Gallery of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland).

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