The Seville Suite
The Seville Suite was composed in 1992 by Bill Whelan. After many years of producing and performing, this was to be Bill’s first major orchestral composition. Through music, Whelan tells the historical story of the legendary Red Hugh O’Donnell and his journey – after his defeat at the Battle of Kinsale – to La Coruna in Spain.
The piece follows that journey from that infamous battle to O’Donnell’s arrival and welcome by the Spanish Earl of Caracena. Commissioned in 1992 by the Irish Prime Minister’s office to commemorate Ireland’s participation at the European cultural exposition (entitled Expo ’92), The Seville Suite served as a wonderful reflection of the event. The Seville Suite received its European Premiere at the Maestranza concert hall in Seville on October 4, 1992.
Performed by a 50 piece orchestra, the piece featured soloists Davy Spillane, Mairtin O’Connor, Mel Mercier and Mairead Nesbitt, many of whom were later to appear in Riverdance. The last movement of the work was danced by Maria Pagés, who also later became a featured performer in Riverdance The Show.