|Opera scene at Martello Tower|
Thursday was Bloomsday and I ventured to Sandycove to join the annual literary shenanigans . There was a nip in the air but a hardy cluster of swimmers gathered at the 40 Foot swimming spot to bathe in the 'snot green sea'. In the Martello Tower, there was a profusion of straw boaters and blazers among the audience gathered to hear the premiere of the first of four scenes from an operatic version of Ulysses by composer, Eric Sweeney to a libretto adapted by Andrew Basquille . The harp like accompaniment played by David Bremner with a sprinkling of sprechstimme gave the piece the feel of a rhapsodic epic There was an cheerful party atmosphere on Main Street in Glasthule with tables and chairs set up under awnings outside each premises. Bemused Japanese tourists, giggling schoolchildren in bonnets and painted moustaches , celebrity chefs and Mollies galore in their best Bloomsday attire made for a bustling gaiety. The jolliest gathering was outside Quinn's Funeral Home. I hadn't heard Oleg Ponomarev Russian violinist of Loyko fame for a long time but there he was outside Caviston's adding a whiff of the Hot Club de Paris to the proceedings.,
On Sandymount Green, strolling players performed dramatic scenes under the gaze of a bronze WB Yeats for an audience fuelled by hot chips from Borza's. Books Upstairs on D'Olier Street has a lovely tea room upstairs where student thespians did their Joycean thing. Finally it was om to Davy Byrne's where sips of Burgundy soothed the palate.
So what that most of us can't claim to have read Ulysses from cover to cover. I think writer Micheal O Domhnaill writing in the Irish Times on Thursday introduces a note of pretentious snootiness when he refers to 'the profoundly cynical philistinism of Bloomsday'. Why shouldn't everyone be a Joycean on this one day in June when dressing up is encouraged and we take fresh delight in the power of language and words renowned all over the literary world.
Related posts: Cathy's Reviews Bloomsday Meanders 2015
|Books Upstairs; D'Olier Street|