VOICES FROM THE MERRY CEMETERY
AN IRELAND-ROMANIA COLLABORATION
Davey composed 'Voices' after a visit to Romania at the behest of the Ireland Romania Cultural Institute. The suite of twelve songs are inspired by the epitaphs and pictures on the wooden crosses in 'The Merry Cemetery' which surround the parish church of Sapanta in northern Romania. With encouragement from Fr, Dr, Sorin Dobre of Sibiu University Theology faculty, The songs, all in Romanian, were ready for performance by Fr. Dobre's men's choir by the summer of 2009. The first performance took place under the auspices of the Sibiu Theatre Festival, in Sibiu's Evangelical Cathedral. With assistance from Culture Ireland, the choir and orchestra were joined by a team of Irish musicians, featuring Rita Connolly, Liam O'Flynn, Noel Eccles and Gerry O'Beirne under the baton of David Brophy.
Following its highly successful debut, the suite was performed again in Sibiu the following year and, remarkably, in the Merry Cemetery itself as part of the Drumul Lung Festival organised by Irishman, Peter Hurley. A performance in Bucharest's hallowed Ateneul Roman followed in 2011, hosted by the Irish Ambassador, H.E. John Morahan and filmed for Romanian television. There the Men's choir were joiined by the mixed choir of the Sibiu Orthodox Cathedral. On reciprocal visits to Ireland by Fr Dobre's choir the suite was performed in St Patrick's Cathedral in 2010 and in The National Concert Hall, Dublin in 2014 as a collaboration between the RTECO, the Romanian Embassy and Romanian Cultural Institute.
One further tour to the Drumul Lung Festival in Sapanta was made in the same year, once again uniting the Irish team with Fr. Dobre's choir. This time the performance included the Lady's choir of Sapanta parish church. It also introduced Calin Handabut on Romanian bagpipes and whistles and a new Finale, 'Oameni cu Cai' - 'Men with Horses' - with a new refrain; 'Life, Life....'