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January 6, 2011 / catherinebwrites


I met Richard Wargo in Annamakerrig, the Artist’s Retreat in Co. Monaghan. The house felt like it was exploding but that was because the theatre group Charabanc was staying. Writers, musicians and visual artists tend to disappear into their studios and only emerge at night for food. Theatre groups are different. They’re often only able to stay for a short time so every second counts. And is some way which I don’t understand this intensive work seems to up everyone’s energy levels and the rest of us stop clutching our brows and get loads of work done as well. On top of that Charabanc were an all female group who made us all laugh and took no prisoners
Richard writes Opera and this was his first time in Ireland. He arrived into dinner tired, jet-lagged and looking like a teddy-bear that had been left too long in the rain. The Charabanc women ragged Richard him mercilessly. I felt sorry for him and tried divert their attention but Richard needed no help. We’ve been friends ever since.
Richard is a composer and has written two short Operas “Winners” and “Losers” based on the Brian Friel plays of the same name and this year “Winners” performed at the Wexford Opera Festival. Festival goers feared the worst, Richard is American and Friel is a literary god. It might be Riverdancing leprechauns.
I had my own fears. What would I say if it wasn’t much good? But as soon as it started I knew that I could relax. It was wonderful. Faithful to the Friel play and, at the same time, adding another dimension. It was funny and tragic and at the end I was in tears, my husband was in tears and most of the audience was also in tears.
There were only two disappointments.
1. The Festival did not use a full orchestra and,
2. On the night of the premier Richard had to bunk down with friends of friends because the festival did not provide his accommodation.

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  1. Today, I went to the beach front with my children.

    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter
    and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell
    to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic
    but I had to tell someone!


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