“The innovative Dublin-based early music ensemble eX are always worth watching when their rare costumed concerts are performed. In a word: Glorious.” Irish Independent
Founded by singer Caitríona O’Leary and director Eric Fraad, eX has become known as one of Europe’s most innovative and imaginative early music ensembles. eX creates spectacular productions and staged concerts featuring some of the world’s most celebrated and adventurous early music specialists and theatre artists. Compelling new interpretations and crossovers between early music, traditional and popular styles characterize their highly original approach.
Hiberia – A concert exploring the music of ancient Ireland and Spain and their cultural connections. Performed in 2013 at Barocco Festival Leonardo Leo in Brindisi, Italy – featuring Caitríona O’Leary (Voice), Clara Sanabras (Voice & Guitar), Paulina van Laarhoven (Viols), Simone Collavechi (Guitar & Lute), Andrea Piccioni (Frame Drums & Percussion).
POSSESSED – A production focusing on four cultural manifestations of the bizarre universal phenomenon of possession. Mystic Christian ecstasy as experienced by Hildegard von Bingen, Teresa of Avilia and Joan of Arc, the 17th century trial for witchcraft in Boston of the Irish washer woman, Goody Glover, an initiation ceremony in the tent of miracles of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé and Athanasius Kircher’s 17th century observations of musical exorcisms to the wild rhythms of the tarantella. Performed by Caitríona O’Leary, Clara Sanabras, Paulina van Laarhoven, Steve Player, Harvey Brough, Francesco Turrisi and Andrea Piccioni with Michael Cooney (Dancer) and Jim Roche (Actor).
Shipwrecked (Music Directors, Caitríona O’Leary and Lee Santana) A “Renaissance Phantasmagoria” based on the stranger-than-fiction adventures of Francisco de Cuéllar, a captain from the Spanish Armada who was shipwrecked on the coast of Ireland in 1588 and spent seven months on the run from the forces of Queen Elizabeth I. Music from 16th century Spain, Ireland, England and a fusion of these national styles and genres.
Christ Lag in Todesbanden (Music Directors, Adriane Daskilakis and Caitríona O’Leary) A music theatre work based on Bach’s first cantata and the sources that inspired it. Christ Lag in Todesbanden was first performed on Easter Sunday 2007, three hundred years to the day that it was premiered in Mulhausen, Germany by Bach. In June 2011 a revised version of the production was performed at the Regensburg Early Music Festival (Tage Alter Musik, Regensburg) and has gained notoriety as the most controversial performance in the festival’s history. Toccata magazine called the production “A sensation” and “A brilliant transformation in sound and image”.
Motion of the Heart (Music Director, Erin Headley) A fantasy on a Carolingian masque glorifying the romantic, scientific, spiritual and aesthetic virtues of the human heart. The production was conceived and written by novelist and cultural historian Louisa Young and director Eric Fraad. Motion of the Heart includes music from 17th century England, Italy, France and Mexico as well as iconic pop songs from the 1960s.
The Rape of the Lock (Music Director, Christopher Hogwood) A theatrical adaptation of Alexander Pope’s mock-epic masterpiece with vocal and instrumental music by Georg Friderick Handel. Adapted for the theatre by Eric Fraad and Jocelyn Clarke.
BAROCK (Music Director, Konrad Junghänel) A staging of early German baroque cantatas and motets (Bach, Bruhns, Buxtehude, Schein, Schütz).
Songs from a Gothic Room (Music Director, Pedro Memelsdorff) A concert of music from the Ars Nova and Ars Subtilior performed amongst the medieval collection of the National Gallery of Ireland.
Ex Tenebris (Music Director, Caitríona O’Leary) a time-traveling dance theatre piece featuring Christmas music of the middle ages and renaissance with singers and dancers with choreography by Liz Roche.