Former Eurovision winner Eimear Quinn will make her performing debut in Sligo on Thursday next, March 19 in the County Sligo Golf Club Male Voice Choir Spring Concert in the Radisson Hotel at 8pm.
Ahead of her performance Eimear talked to the Sligo Weekender about making her long overdue Sligo debut. “Yes, it’s a long over-due performance! Although I haven’t given a concert in Sligo, I do have very fond memories of holidaying there as a child at the Yeats Country Hotel at Rosses Point.” she said.
“It’d be hard to forget such a beautiful place! Of course the scope and breadth of music from Sligo is internationally renowned, from Dervish to Westlife, and the world is a richer place for it.”
The acts she mentioned took music from Irish shores to an international audience, something Eimear herself had done, but are foreign audiences more receptive?
“I do think there is a deep appreciation for Irish influenced music abroad, it seems to have a very instant appeal. But I’m not sure that the appreciation is any less at home. It might just seem a little more remarkable to us that an international audience has such interest, but Irish people are great guardians of their own heritage, and value it well, I feel.”
Eimear will, of course, be performing her Eurovision-winning song “The Voice” on Thursday next, but 19 years on from her Eurovision victory, how does she reflect back on the song and the experience?
“‘The Voice’ is a stunning and powerful song, and it has been one of the greatest gifts of my life that Brendan Graham chose me to sing it, and allowed me to take ownership of it in such a significant way.
“The song, and the experience of singing it for Ireland, took me on a very privileged and unexpected journey, that I would never have otherwise experienced.
“Before being invited to sing for the Eurovision in 1996, I was very set on the path as a classical performer, and suddenly I saw that a performer could be more than one genre. Over time, I’ve realised that a performer has the scope to mould their own sense of music self, and not to be limited to one genre or another at all.”
Eimear will perform alongside the Male Voice Choir and the Sligo Academy of Music orchestras, under the musical direction of Niamh Crowley. Tickets for this concert cost €15 and can be bought from Liber Bookshop or from Sligo Tourist Office, both in O’Connell Street. The funds raised will go to the Donal Parsons Trust and the Rory Gallagher’s Wish To Walk appeal.