News24 June 2019
Listen back to our podcast of the Embassy's Bloomsday 2019 event, featuring an introduction from Ambassador O'Neill, readings from Irish actors and music from an opera singer and harpist: https://soundcloud.com/user-754970991/bloomsday-2019
On Sunday 16 June we hosted a Bloomsday event to commemorate the date on which James Joyce set his magnum opus "Ulysses". The event was led by Professor Declan Kiberd and included selected readings of Joycean pieces by five London-based Irish actors and an Irish opera singer and harpist.
The first set features Alison McKenna, who recites Joyce’s poem “Gas from a Burner”.
The opera singer Margaret Keys and harpist Seána Davey then perform a Joycean-era song, “Oft in the Stilly Night”.
Keys and Davey then lead the second set with the “Lass of Aughrim”, before Dermot Crowley reads the final passage of “The Dead” from Joyce’s book of short stories "Dubliners".
To pique the appetite of guests, Dearbhla Molloy then delivers an excerpt from Ulysses—the scene where Leopold Bloom prepares breakfast for Molly and converses with the family cat.
The third set saw two additional readings from "Ulysses"; one from Niall Buggy who read the titillating Gertie MacDowell/fireworks scene, and the other from Sinead Cusack, who gave the Molly Bloom soliloquy.
Professor Kiberd commenced the final set with ‘The Ballad of Persse O’Reilly’—an excerpt from "Finnegans Wake"—and the event closes with the performance by Seána Davey of “Strings in the Earth and Air”, an original composition for pedal harp that she prepared for the day.