An Táin Arts Centre’s music residency programme supports emerging companies with the resources to make new work. As part of the residency, companies are provided with rehearsal space, technical and marketing support, and a production stipend. Ardú is the inaugural recipient of the award, and will be in residence throughout 2017.
Ardú Vocal Ensemble
Ardú Vocal Ensemble is a versatile and ambitious group made up of six professional singers from various backgrounds – traditional, opera, choral and contemporary. They have performed throughout the UK at the likes of Edinburgh Fringe Festival, London A Cappella Festival and Cork Choral Festival and have recently won first prize in the small ensemble category at City of Derry Choral Festival as well as second place in RTÉ Lyric FM Choirs For Christmas national competition.
As well as this, Ardú regularly curate and promote their own events. Their recent ConTempo NOVA set attracted national and international attention as their promotional material went viral. Watch the video here. Ireland’s A Cappella Competition, which Ardú set up and hosted, gained the group hundreds of new followers and they are already making plans for a second competition next year. See some clips from IACC here. Ardú’s repertoire spans many genres; their America NOVA programme includes the likes of Gjeilo, Lauridsen and Whitacre as well as spirituals and more contemporary singer-songwriters. See some America NOVA excerpts here. Their ConTempo NOVA programme was first performed at the Button Factory in Dublin’s Temple Bar and received glowing reviews, such as this one, from The OB Blog.
Through their exciting partnership with An Táin Arts Centre, Ardú will extend their performance and educational outreach throughout 2017. Already, students at Dundalk Institute of Technology have been appointed as Ardú Apprentices, enabling students to shadow a professional vocal ensemble and learn valuable career tips and performance opportunities as well as individual and collective technical advice. School children of all ages in Dundalk and the wider area will also participate in a cappella workshops and programmes throughout the year. Additionally, Ardú will present three of their concert programmes in Dundalk in May, September and December – America NOVA (originally performed at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin), VocaJAZZ (a brand new vocal concept by Artistic Director Ciarán Kelly) and the group’s annual ‘Friends’ Christmas concert which will involve singers from all over Dundalk.
Artistic Director | Ciarán Kelly
Ciarán Kelly is a tenor from Derry, Ireland. He made his opera debut at the RIAM in January 2007, singing ‘Don Curzio’ in a production of Le Nozze Di Figaro, and has gone on to sing with the Downpatrick Opera Fringe Festival, Opera Theatre Company and Lyric Opera. Ciarán has also been been an active member of renowned chamber choir ‘Resurgam’ under the directorship of Mark Duley. In 2010, Ciarán sang as a soloist in the historic performance of Handel’s Messiah, a joint performance between St Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedrals in Dublin. In 2012 he travelled to Piacenza, Italy to perform the lead role in Nicolini’s Le DueGemelle with singers from Italy, Japan, Korea and Armenia. Ciarán was also chosen to perform the lead role in a specially commissioned short opera in Derry for the arrival of the Olympic Torch; Number Seven, composed by Seán Doherty. Most recently Ciarán undertook the narrator role in Monterverdi’s Il Combattimenti Di Tancredi e Clorinda and in 2013 completed a National Tour with Opera Theatre Company’s production of Carmen (Remendado). Recent roles also include Endymione in a joint performance of Rossi’s Orfeo with Resurgam and Atalante, directed by award winning early music specialist Erin Headley. In 2014 Ciarán founded cappella ensemble Ardú and in 2015 joined professional London based group Apollo5.
Ardú is in residence in An Táin Arts Centre for the duration of 2017. Follow their progress on Twitter @ArduVocal #antainartists