Catherine Rhatigan from Sligo, Ireland has been the main force behind Tale of the Gael and The Atlantic Orchestra Project for many years. Involved in music and shows since her early teens, she learned a lot about performance from the late great Patsy Croal, director of the cabaret show she toured the US with on the 90s, and Paul Buckley with whom she worked for 10 years as a choreographer in amateur musicals. Both masters of stagecraft in the Donegal of their time. She also toured in the US this time with The Irish Harp Orchestra before founding Tale of the Gael in 1998. With a degree in English from UCG, words were always important, and she gradually started adding context to music.
Catherine is currently responsible for the research, curating and scripting of the performances created for Tale of the Gael, and especially The Atlantic Orchestra Project. She has also written music and songs for the shows. Shows to date include several commissioned pieces for the Department of Foreign Affairs between 2015 and the present day, performed all over Europe. These historically informed pieces showcase areas of Irish culture and include the following:
Lady Gregory, Life and Legacy 2015, performed in Galway Brian Boru 2014, performed throughout Ireland Poet and Harper: Yeats and O Carolan 2015 -16 , performed across Europe in various Embassies of Ireland, and in Ireland Ireland: 100 Years: 2016 Performed across various Embassies of Ireland in Europe
Reverberations: James Joyce’s Ireland: 2018 performed in the James Joyce Foundation Joyce at the Limit: 2018 with Joyce Foundation Zurich, Universities of Geneva, Lausanne, and Zurich in Switzerland, and Universities of Bokum and Dortmund in Germany ‘Joyce’s Dublin’ for a centenary celebration of the publication of Ulysses in the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, on June 16th 2022
Together with Senator Susan O Keeffe and a very able committe comprising Robert Tobin, Celia Keenaghan, and Prannie Rhatigan, Catherine devised and directed the very popular Yeats 150: Harp Festival of Moons as part of the year long celebration of the 150th year since the birth of poet WB Yeats in 2015. This comprised of 12 harp centred events, each happening on the full moon of the year of 2015
Teaching and Performing: Catherine has taught harp at several festivals in Ireland and Switzerland, performed several times as a solo harper at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, and performed and taught at the Tokyo Harp Festival and at other venues throughout Japan with Ray Coen.
She is currently working on a series of childrens’ stories with artist Marie Drumgoole, and previously edited the award winning ‘Irish Seaweed Christmas Kitchen’ in 2018