The Arts

In association with Sligo Today

Tread Softly Yeats Celebration Returns to Sligo

Added: 24/07/14 : 11:12:07

Tread Softly... Sligo's Celebration of the Yeats Family returns from 27th July - 8th August

The third Tread Softly festival, celebrating the link between Sligo and the Yeats family will take place this year 27th July – 8th August.

The many dimensions of this family of famous artists – Nobel Prize winning poet William Butler, painter Jack B, embroiderer Susan and fine press printer Elizabeth – will be brought to life over two weeks of theatre, exhibitions, cinema, music, literary events, talks and tours, alongside a programme of children’s events.

This year’s festival’s theatrical highlights include performances of The Man in the Woman’s Shoes by Mikel Murfi and A Brief Taste of Lightening performed by Blue Raincoat Theatre Company.

An exhibition entitled Jack B Yeats The Music Has Come at the Model will look at his interest in song. The venue is also presenting a display of Norah McGuinness’s illustrations of William Butler Years The Stories of Red Hanrahan and the Secret Rose, and the first comprehensive solo exhibition of work by Susan Hiller.

The Hamilton Gallery will be home to Confluence: A Merging by Janet Pearse, reflecting on her experiences in Ireland and India in recent years, and The Factory Foyer to Wandering Shades by Katie McDonagh, inspired by the ‘dance plays’ of W.B. Yeats, which were in turn influenced by Japanese Noh Theatre.

The Factory will also be the venue for one of the films featuring in the programme, Sanctuary by Blue Raincoat co-founder Malcolm Hamilton, based on the stage play of the same name.

Speaker’s Corner is a new departure for the festival programme this year, an informal gathering of politicians to discuss their visions for Ireland as the centenary of 1916 approaches. Such a discussion seems a fitting element in any celebrations of Yeats’ life and work.

Out and about, the festival will offer a programme of walking tours Yeats and the landscape – Walking in the Footsteps of Yeats.

Niall Henry, one of the festival organisers, says, “”We are delighted to be bringing this year’s programme to the festival audiences, offering multiple ways to celebrate and enjoy the heritage of the Yeats family.”

The festival runs alongside the 55th annual Yeats International Summer School, Ireland’s longest running summer school, which will be opened this year by Alan Gilsenan at the Hawk’s Well on 27th July. The Summer School continues until 8th August.

WB Yeats is considered by many to be the greatest English language poet of the 20th Century. Throughout his life he wrote about Sligo and the beauty, folklore and spirituality of the surrounding landscape. His brother Jack once said he never created a painting “without at least a thought of Sligo in it.’ Sisters Susan and Elizabeth Yeats ran the Cuala Press which printed the work of WB Yeats and many other well-known writers including Ezra Pound, Douglas Hyde, Rabindranath Tagore and Elizabeth Bowen.

Tread Softy is an initiative of Blue Raincoat Theatre Company, The Hawk’s Well Theatre, The Model, Yeats International Summer School and Sligo Live supported by Fáilte Ireland and is produced by Sligo Yeats Partnership.

For full information and programme details: visit and follow @TreadSoftlyFest and or contact Sligo Tourist Office O’Connell Street Sligo on Tel: 071 91 61201

Ticket Booking: The Hawk’s Well, Temple Street, Sligo Tel: 071 9161526

The Cloths Of Heaven

Added: 25/07/14 : 12:05:17


Rare Sligo appearance for  Edel

Sligo has produced many great artists, writers, actors and performers of many different musical genres, from traditional  to country, jazz and rock. However it is not so widely known for the quality of its classical musicians and singers.

It is therefore a great delight for Con Brio, the Sligo organisation who bring many great Irish and international  classical musicians and singers to the northwest, to present the truly excellent Sligo born soprano Edel Shannon.

Edel  will give an early evening recital at 6pm on Sunday 3rd August at the Model.

Having commenced her musical studies at the RIAM under the famous Veronica Dunne, Edel  completed a Masters in Opera at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.
She went on to join the chorus of the world renowned Glyndebourne Opera. She has since then sung major roles at the Royal Opera (Covent Garden – Poulenc’s Dialogue of the Carmelites), the NCH Dublin (Carmina Burana) and Mozart’s Magic Flute (Cork).

Accompanied by Andrew Synnott (piano) she will perform settings of Yeats poems – the Cloths of Heaven, arr by Dunhill and The Sally Gardens arr by Britten as well as a number of Moore’s melodies and many more well loved Irish songs and arias, classical and traditional.

Tickets are available from the Model (tel 071 9141405) at €15.

The recital will be followed by a complimentary wine reception.


Jack B Yeats - Johnny Patterson Singing Bridget Donoghue (The Singing Clown). Jack B Yeats; The Music Has Come

Added: 05/06/14 : 12:23:08

Sat. 31 May – Sun. 30 Sep. 2014

The Model is delighted to present The Music Has Come, a new exhibition by Jack B Yeats that looks at his interest in song, and also at the way in which he used music and it’s performance as a key device to interrogate ideas in his painting.

Colloquial song that aimed to stir political, patriotic and romantic sentiment in the listener held a particular fascination for Yeats, and as a painter he often sought to capture this emotional power in his work. His lyrical canon included political ballads of resistance and heart-rending celebrations of executed heroes. Such songs had the power to spark an intense emotional reaction in the listener and Yeats often borrowed themes and titles from such works to explore whether this emotional intensity could be successfully rendered on canvas. Paintings such as Eileen Aroon, 1953 and Patriotic Airs, Republican Airs, 1923, tap into the collective memory of Irish people as a postcolonial nation, and have contributed to the ongoing debate regarding the politicization of Yeats’ practice as an artist among art historians.

In other works Yeats used song to explore concerns such as mortality, grief and loneliness. In paintings like Johnny Paterson Singing ‘Bridget Donoghue’, 1928; and Singing ‘Under the Canopy of Heaven’, 1950 he sought to consummate the moment when people sing. In this briefand ultimately elusive moment, time stands still and the present becomes forgotten in the song. Such works indicate the painter’s increasing awareness of mortality and death.

Born in 1871 Jack B Yeats was one of a group of painters who sought to establish an Irish 'school' of painting in the early twentieth century. Initially they chose an approach that had much in common with Realism, as promoted by the Slade School in London. However over time Yeats evolved his own highly personalised and expressive style. His themes became more allegorical and mystical in parallel with new developments in his painting technique. His late works are emblematic of a range of human emotions, but are often bleak and despairing - charting the solitary journey of the human soul.

This exhibition features works drawn from The Niland Collection as well as The Irish Museum of Modern Art and The National Gallery of Ireland. A number of works from private collections rarely exhibited in public are alsoincluded.

On the occasion of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, The Model has commissioned musicians Jack Talty and Neil O’Loghlen of Ensemble Ériu, pictured below, to compose a suite of new music in response to this exhibition. The piece will be premiered at The Model on Friday 15 August.

Each Saturday at 3pm a member of our learning team leads a guided tour.

Contact The Model’s reception for more information on tours, performances and associated programming. For further information, please visit
The Berlin Philharmonic The Berlin Philharmonic Live from Berlin to Sligo

Added: 10/06/14 : 11:33:53

CAI’s 2013-2014 live events programme comes to a glittering end on Wednesday the 18th 6:30pm when the great pianist Daniel Barenboim comes to Berlin to joining forces with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle, and the concert is relayed live to The Gaiety Cinema as part of a Europe-wide event.

He will play Brahms’ towering first piano concerto, one of the greatest pieces ever written for the instrument, a magnificent vehicle for the greatest musicianship and astonishing levels of keyboard virtuosity. The programme also includes ‘The Unanswered Question’ by Charles Ives and the sublime Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings by Richard Strauss – two contrasting pieces guaranteed to demonstrate the extraordinary quality of this great orchestra’s playing .

With tickets at a small fraction of the cost of tickets to the event itself, this magnificent event also has great value ticket prices for families, and half-price student and children’s ticket in most venues.

The world’s greatest orchestra, one of the world’s greatest pianists and conductors, and some of the greatest music of all time – LIVE to Sligo’s doorstep.

Full details of the production and all venues can be found on


Sligo Gaiety Cinema - 12 Screen Multiplex  CLICK HERE