Tale of the Gael

Tale of the Gael, in the Library at Schaffhausen, December 2021 after The Colmcille Connection performance

‘Lady Gregory: Life and Legacy ‘ sees ladies of the cast Deridre Starr, Prannie Rhatigan, Trisha Keane and Catherine Rhatogan at the majestic fireplace in Lough Cutra Castle Galway

Tale of the Gael has been working with Ireland’s music in context for almost two decades with performances in Ireland, the USA, and across Europe. As well as straighforward concerts, the group performs curated pieces on selected themes, and has been invited  by the Department of Foreign Affairs to showcase Irish culture on several occasions and in several countries over the last decade. These invitations have seen the group perform in the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, and of course Ireland. 

The group has worked closely with various Universities in Germany and Switzerland to craft performances that include Irish literary figures,  and with festivals, and community  and commemoration groups in Ireland to celebrate various events. In addition to the four or five piece group, Tale also offers various duet or trio performances. Have a look at some of our past performances below:

Celebrating Joyce:  February 2022                                                                                Tale of the Gael Trio celebrated  Ulysses with students from the University of Lausanne and a host of distinguished guests, including Prof. Fritz Senn, James Joyce Foundation Zurich. Thanks to Culture Ireland for their valuable support for this event.

Joyce’s Dublin:  June 2022                                                                                             A Bloomsday celebration of music and text curated by Tale of the Gael and performed for the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, June 15th 2022 on the Centenary of the publication of Ulysses.

Bloomsday In Zurich: Centenary Celebrations: June 2022                                            Tale of the Gael duet of harp and flute join the Joyce Foundation Zurich for a celebratory evening of music and readings

The Colmcille Connection: December 2021                                                                with special guests Treasa Ni Mhaoilean and Shane Walsh in the Library of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, where the earliest manuscript on thelife of Colmcille is stored. Thanks to Culture Ireland for their generous supprt.

‘Reverberations: Voices and Melodies from Joyce’s Ireland’ 2017 -2019                  for University of Zurich,  also performed by Tale of the Gael in University of Dortmund and University of Bokum, Germany and for the University of Geneva, Switzerland

Ireland: 100 Years a Nation:  2016                                                                                  In association with the Department of Foreign Affairs, and performed by Tale of the Gael for the Embassies of Ireland in Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic                                 

‘Lady Gregory’s Legacy’ 2015                                                                           Original script, performed by ‘Tale of the Gael’ and Guests in Lough Cutra Castle Galway, Ireland      scroll for details

The Poet and the Harper: 2014 – 2015  Turlough O Carolan and WB Yeats  performed by Tale of the Gael, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, Ireland                                     scroll for details

Remembering Brian Boru  2014                                                                             Ireland, France Switzerland

The Flight of the Earls  2008                                                                                   Concert series in Switzerland and Italy


Lady Gregory’s Legacy

Lady Augusta Isabella Gregory, 12th July 1911

Lady Augusta Isabella Gregory, 12th July 1911

Mother, socialite, folklorist, traveller, landlady, lover, writer, patron ,activist and Gaelic speaker,  Lady Augusta Isabella Gregory is well known for her role as a founding member of the The Abbey Theatre, Dublin, and as close friend of WB Yeats.  Less public is her life as a London socialite, her interest in European architecture, the politics of her day and the fact that she spoke with a charming lisp…Tale of the Gael tells a carefully researched tale of a woman who influenced  the social and literary currents of her time, and was  equally influenced by them…

Often defined in terms of others, this well researched evening with Tale of the Gael presents Lady Gregory as herself.  Their trademark blend of traditional music with  classical overtones provide the perfect backdrop for a woman whose story is synonomous with Irish culture, but whose early experiences were  colonially British and European.  


The Poet and The Harper: Turlough O Carolan and WB Yeats’             

A small wire harp in the style of the Brian Boru or Trinity Harp.

A small wire harp similar to the instrument used by Turlough O Carolan

Though two centuries apart, poet W.B. Yeats and harper/composer Turlough O Carolan were often artistically influenced by similar themes. Both men, for example cite the beautiful west of Ireland landscape as an inspiration, and fairies as a muse. Both had hopeless romantic aspirations, and both relied heavily on patronage…Tale of the Gael takes aspects of these fascinating and creative lives and weaves them into a 90 minute presentation that entertains and delights while placing the works of these men into the context of their time. First performed in  Drumcliffe Church during the Yeats International Summer School in August 2013, the performance was also staged for the Geneva Literary Society in November of the same year, and again in Ireland in early summer of 2014

Best described as traditional with a classical twist, audience friendly, entertaining and informative, this presentation draws together different threads from the same weave, leaving the audience with a rich picture of the creative forces at work in the west over the last two centuries, not to mention a head full of the finest melodies and poetry…


Comments from the Guest Book: 2013/14

what visitors to Ireland were saying about our music in the 12th century...

…what visitors to Ireland were saying about our music in the 12th century…

‘Absolutely fascinating…’

‘ Not only a fabulous choice of music but informative too, well done everyone.’

‘Could have stayed there another hour…’

Very, very well put together…and completely entertaining

Another great evening from Geneva Literary Aid, thanks





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