Ballina in Wallace mode as great composer recalled

Celebrations are in full swing in Ballina to mark the bicentenary of composer William Vincent Wallace who has been described as the rock star of his day with many compositions to his name, including the 1850s smash hits ‘Maritana’ and ‘Lurline’.

The Wallaces (his sister Eliza was a diva ) travelled the world in the 19th century and attained international celebrity status. The family had deep roots in the north Mayo region. An Exhibition of Wallace Memorabilia by experts Dr David Grant of Waterford and Pete Jaggard of the UK, is running until September 15 in Ballina Library.

A tour of the Wallace Trail (Ballina/Killala/Enniscoe House ) will take place on Wednesday, September 12, from Ballina Library at 1.45pm (must be pre-booked 086 8109518 ). On Thursday, September 13, Mayor Willie Nolan and Ballina Town Council will host a civic welcome, and on Friday at 8pm the keynote Wallace Talk takes place in the library.

On Sunday, September 16, at 8pm, a gala concert in St Muredach’s Cathedral will feature Wallace music performed by the cream of local talent. The renowned Adrian Vernon Fish is artistic director.

The guests for the concert will include former president Mary Robinson, the Mexican and Australian ambassadors.

Gala concert tickets costing €10 are available from Margaret Harrison (087 2421762 ), Pat Diamond (087 2590885 ), and Ballina Tourist Office, and will also be on sale at the festival events.


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