by Ensemble Oneiroi
Advertised as ‘Four Damsel musicians offering a show of small pleasures’, from the outset this looked likely to be something never seen before in the Royal Cork and certainly, not as a season opener! It all sounded very mysterious, which is perhaps why the uptake for bookings from the start was very promising. The eventual turnout was an impressive with over 100 members filling the restaurant to capacity…. a fantastic opener!
The evening started with an impressive meal prepared by our caterer Anthony McCann. Then Rear Admiral Frank Fitzgibbon to centre stage to introduce the main act, and tell us what to expect, or rather what not to expect!! Through the doors came four ladies dressed in the cinched waists and powdered wigs of the baroque period.
After some tuning of the very fragile harpsichord and cello (by Myrrha & Melusine), Lena the lead soprano, strolled through the audience deciding who would choose the theme for the first installment of the show from a selection of cards she held. She was accompanied by light music from the harpsichord, cello and the recorder, played by Valentine.
Amour was the first card drawn, to which poems, songs and texts were all performed. Music and voice were first class, all un-amplified.
Following on from Amour was Coffee, Alcohol & Tabac which caused a small stir at one point when the ladies lit and smoked a cigarette – the arts it seems enjoy an exception to the smoking ban.
The wit and the humor was engaging, with many of the audiences’ French speakers in hysterics over the many innuendos. Innuendos lost on many but their laughter was contagious.
The evening finished of with a lovely encore of Down by the Sally Gardens, a very different tune when performed on a harpsichord.
After a closing comments and praise from Admiral Paddy McGlade, the curtains finally came down. Marking the end of a great night and the start of a very promising season.
More information on Ensemble Oneiroi can be found by visiting their website at http://ensemble.oneiroi.free.fr/