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For Saint Patrick's Day

Operas, plays, musicals and more based around the Irish.
Video | March 14, 2017 | By Jonathan Shipley


The Irish playwright, novelist, essayist and poet, Oscar Wilde, once wrote, "Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

The rest of the world has been blessed by operas, plays, musicals and more, by the Irish, and/or set in Ireland. Let's take a look at just a few examples, shall we?


Riders to the Sea

Written by Ralph Vaughan Williams, based on the play by Irish writer John Millington Synge, Riders to the Sea is a one-act opera about Maurya, an elderly Irishwoman, who has lost her husband, father-in-law, and four of her six sons to the sea. 



A musical stage adaptation based on the 2007 film of the same name, Once appeared on Broadway in 2012 and won the Drama Desk Award that year for Outstanding Musical. Also a Grammy Award-winner, its music and lyrics were by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. It is a love story between a down-and-out Irish busker and a Czech immigrant.


Symphony in E Minor

Amy Beach's Gaelic symphony premiered in 1896 by the Boston Symphony. It was the first orchestral work composed by a woman to be performed by an American orchestra. 



A cultural phenomenon, Riverdance is. Since its inception, in 1995, the production has visited over 450 venues worldwide and has been seen by over 25 million people. 


Waiting for Godot

Picking an Irish play to feature is difficult due to the fact that there are so many world-famous plays written by the Irish, including Dancing at Lughnasa, The Importance of Being Earnest, Playboy of the Western World, Pygmalion and more. Here's some from Samuel Beckett's tragicomedy. 

Eire go Deo!