The Irish Embassy in Bucharest, in partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute, Culture Ireland and the “George Enescu” Philharmonic, presents on November 29, for the first time in Bucharest, the extraordinary concert “Voices from the Merry Cemetery”, signed by the Irish composer Shaun Davey, with the participation of an impressive ensemble of 180 first-rank Romanian and Irish vocalists and instrumentalists, a press release informs. “Setting Stan Ion Patras’s epitaphs to music, Shaun Davey enriched the Merry Cemetery legend with new significances. ‘Voices from the Merry Cemetery’ weave another bridge between Ireland and Romania,” the Irish Ambassador to Bucharest John Morahan stated, in a press release. The seven Irish soloists taking part in the concert include the legendary bagpipes-artist Liam O’Flynn and the signer Rita Connolly. The concert has been presented in Romania before, including a presentation “on location” in the Merry Cemetery, last summer, which was recorded by TVR Cultural. The Irish premiere of the show took place in November 2010 at Dublin’s St. Patrick Cathedral. The concert at the Athenaeum is the first event presented by the newly-founded Ireland-Romanian Network, a cultural association meant to strengthen Irish-Romanian ties.
The Merry Cemetery in Sapanta is included among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It owes its name to the colourful summaries of the lives of people buried there, evoked through naïve drawings and epitaphs in verse. The cemetery draws an average 200,000 visitors every year.