WHY: You’ve still got time to learn the new lyrics to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy (the European anthem) which Catherine Anne Cullen, Poetry Ireland’s Poet in Residence, has penned to be performed across the country on European Music Day to honour our frontline workers. Leading the salute, on Sunday June 21, will be President Higgins and four musicians at Áras an Uachtaráin. Following this, the acclaimed soprano, Mairéad Buicke (pictured) will perform the anthem on the steps of the National Concert Hall, Dublin at 6pm. It is hoped that as many as 600,000 instrumentalists, singers, dancers and performers will then live stream their own renditions of Ode to Joy from their homes, gardens or parks around the country. If you get involved do use the hashtag #OdeToJoyIE and for the lyrics visit www.odetojoy.ie
WHERE: Calling all mariners – ancient or amateur! A chance to test your sea legs and enjoy the ocean breeze in your hair are two of the perks of Dublin Bay Cruises, which has just launched its summer season. Setting sail seven times daily from Rogerson’s Quay, the round trip takes in Dún Laoghaire, Howth and a cruise around Ireland’s Eye. Rest assured the crew has taken all safety and social distancing precautions. There are only 40 passengers permitted per sailing (normally there are 100). Tickets can only be booked in advance – with ten complimentary tickets available every day for frontline medics; www.dublinbaycruises.com.
WHO: I’ve long been fascinated by the personal story of “Chet”’ Beatty – the American born philanthropist, collector and mining magnate dubbed the “King of Copper” and founder of the Chester Beatty Library. He lived in London and the south of France before relocating to Ireland in 1950, where he was made an honorary citizen. Did you know Beatty donated more than 100 paintings to the National Gallery of Ireland; he collected African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern manuscripts, rare printed books, prints and objets d’art? He intended to make an even more significant gift to the Gallery – his wife Edith’s (pictured) collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings, but a sorry saga ensued after Edith’s death in 1952 and the donation never happened. Fionnuala Croke, Director of the Chester Beatty and formerly head curator of the Gallery will give a live talk this evening, June 18 which will explore this episode in Beatty’s life; www.chesterbeatty.ie.
WHAT: Are you running out of menu and wine matching ideas for the weekend? Two new launches may help. Chef Kevin Arundel of the Michelin-recommended Chophouse restaurant (on Shelbourne Road, Dublin) has created a click and collect menu as well as several Chophouse “Cook at Home” kits, priced from €30. For example, the “Famous Fish” Box includes dressed crab, prawns, fishcakes, salads and sauces, as well as Kevin’s “Dirty Bird” Box of slow-roasted duck, stuffing and pak choi. There are tasty sides, desserts and a kids menu too. Pre-book online at www.thechophouse.ie. Wine enthusiasts may be interested to learn of WineLab’s Bottle Project Shop – focusing on special, small quantity and minimal intervention wines. Customers just need to let the WineLab team know what wines they usually enjoy drinking and then select their price point from six options – Everyday Heroes (€55) to Top of the Rock (€150). The team takes care of the rest handpicking and delivering a selection of six surprise bottles; www.winelab.ie
WHEN: Art lovers will know that some galleries have opened their doors – such as the Kerlin Gallery (Anne’s Lane, Dublin 2), which operates an appointment only system. Do visit and enjoy Richard Gorman’s “dalkey 2” made by the artist while he was cocooning in his Dublin studio – reflecting his personal take on the “emotional geometry” for which he has been celebrated in the past two decades. The artworks are defined by their sense of movement and immediacy. Angular, interlocking blocks of colour seem to spiral outwards, while radial shapes pirouette on their axis; www.kerlingallery.com.
Meanwhile, this evening at 6pm, Monkstown-based artist Isobel Henihan is participating in a Facebook Live session, discussing her interesting artistic background and new seascapes inspired by the Irish coastline. Pour a glass of vino or coffee, and enjoy getting to know Isobel and her artistic journey further; www.facebook.com.
AND … How are you coping? Anxiety and insomnia have taken their toll on many during the last few months, while FOGO (fear of going out) is a looming reality for others. This is a fact backed by the findings of a recent survey showing anxiety levels have reached a peak in Ireland – 84% in 18-35 year-olds, and 65% in the over 55’s. Some help and relief may be at hand. Synctuition – one of the top three mindfulness apps in the world – is now available for free to anyone in Ireland. As one of the most advanced mind relaxation apps on the market its platform is backed by 106 scientific studies, while devotees include American actress Sarah Hyland,TV/radio presenter Fearne Cotton, and Ollie Ollerton of SAS Who Dares Wins; www.synctuition.com
If you are staying home, make sure you tune into I Am Not Your Negro on Saturday, June 20 on BBC Two at 9pm. Narrated by novelist James Baldwin, this film touches on the lives and assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr and Medgar Evans, while on Sunday, Eve Hewson (aka Bono’s daughter) stars in Elaine Catton’s 2013 Booker-winning period drama The Luminaries, on BBC One at 9pm.
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