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Daughters of the Pirate Queen

March 2023
National Concert Hall of Ireland

The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland's 2nd Annual International Women's Day Celebration

       On International Women's Day, the National Symphony Orchestra, in association with Polyarts, presents eight of Ireland’s top female performers – led by award-winning Irish composer and conductor Eímear Noone – in a major new performance which brings together their very different lived and musical experiences to tackle the turbulent tale of the Wild Atlantic Way in Daughters of the Pirate Queen: The Spirit of Grace O’Malley.
       The soundscape of this genre-defying concert will centre on cinematic orchestral storytelling through music, narrative, and song, with indie rock, pop, and folk influences throughout the score. Uniting Irish artists from different musical genres to co-write songs inspired by one of the greatest Irish women to have ever lived brings an unusual, yet quintessentially Irish flavour to the work. For example, iconic Irish songwriter Eleanor McEvoy has collaborated with Eímear Noone to write a song for performance by Emma Langford.
       In the spirit of the great woman herself, the music is at times evocative, poetic, rhythmic, and exhilarating. An emotional ride, it seeks to embrace both the literal and metaphorical storms Granuaile rode and tamed in her complicated, glorious life.

       Noone, the show's creator, says of this deeply personal artistic journey, ‘What Grace O’Malley achieved in her lifetime has been a constant inspiration to me and getting deeply into her life with some of my favourite Irish women artists has proven that her fierce spirit lives in us all, and this music has her indomitable energy running through it. It is not limited by genre or label as neither was she. It is important to me that great Irish women are memorialized and celebrated so that future generations can harness their passions and take ownership of their heritage. Daughter, lover, mother, leader – Grace O’Malley was all of these things and so much more; not a myth, but a flesh-and-blood Irish woman.'

       The fierce heart of the pirate queen resides in us all. Therefore, we are all her daughters.


Production Photos

Photos by Mark Stedman
Show Clips and/or Full Production Footage Available Upon Request

Production Team


Composers and Lyricists: Wallis Bird, Madison Cole, Maureen Grady, Nina Hynes, Dawn Kenny, Emma Langford, Eleanor McEvoy, Michael McGlynn, Eímear Noone

Book Writer and Director: Madison Cole
Producers: Eímear Noone, Moema Parrott

Stage Manager: Paul Hunt

Orchestrators: Craig Stuart Garfinkle, Eímear Noone

Lighting Designer: Aaron Scully

Projections Designer: Philipp Geist
Sound Designer and Engineer: Brian Masterson

Costume Designer: Claire Garvey

Event Coordinator: Ciaran Crangle

Video Director: Lioba Petrie

Orchestra Manager: Anthony Long

PR Director: Assumpta Lawless

Biographer: Anne Chambers

Assistant Producers: Madison Cole, Eva Pires 

Assistant Stage Manager: Emma Flynn

Camera Crew: Bob Corkey, Nestor Smith


Introduction: Anne Chambers

Conductor and Narrator: Eímear Noone

Vocalists: Wallis Bird, Celine Byrne, Nina Hynes, Dawn Kenny, Emma Langford, Aisling McGlynn

Trumpet Soloist: Helen Doyle

Celtic Harpist: Aibhe McBride

Bodhràn Player: Aimee Farrell Courtney

Rock Band

Keys: Fergal Caulfield

Guitars: Jimmy Smyth, Karl Breen

Bass Guitar: Paul Moore

Drums: Guy Rickarby

Synthesizer: David Hayes

The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland

First Violins: Elaine Clark​, Orla Ní Bhraoin, Sebastian Liebig, Catherine McCarthy, Ting Zhong Deng​, David Clark​, Brona Fitzgerald, Molly O'Shea, Anne Harte​, Claudie Driesen​, Karl Sweeney

Second Violins: Alicia Berendse​, Elizabeth McLaren, Rosalind Brown​, Paul Fanning, Melanie Cull​, Evelyn McGrory, Elena Quinn​, Jenny Burns Duffy, Magda Kowalska

Violas: Virginia Slater, Roisin Ni Dhuill, Neil Martin, Margarete Clark, Nathan Sherman, Anthony Mulholland

Celli: Martin Johnson, Polly Ballard, Violetta-Valérie Muth​, Úna Ní Chanainn, Katie Tertell, Eva Richards

Double Basses: Adam Precious, Gareth Hopkins, Maeve Shell, Waldemar Kozak, Helen Morgan, Jenni Meade

Flutes: Catriona Ryan, Ríona Ó Duinín

Piccolo: Sinéad Farrell

Oboes: Matthew Manning, Sylvain Gnemmi

Cor Anglais: Deborah Clifford

Clarinets: Seamus White, Anne Harper

Bass Clarinet: Patrick Burke

Bassoon: Greg Crowley, Ates Kirkan

Contrabasoon: Hilary Sheil

Horns: Liam Duffy, Dewl Jones, Bethan Watkeys, David Atcheler, Peter Ryan, Louise Sullivan, Joe Ryan

Trumpets: Will Palmer, Oscar Whight, Eoghan Cooke, Michael Hartin

Trombones: Jason Sinclair, Gavin Roche

Bass Trombone: Ed Hilton

Tuba: Francis McGee

Tympani: Luke Taylor

Percussion: Bernard Reilly, Paddy Nolan, Nick Cowling, Conor Chambers, Ronan Scarlett, Lili Iontcheva

Harp: Andreja Malír

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