Belfast Telegraph

Belfast International Arts Festival to host musical double bill

Lula Pena. Pic credit: Lucile Dizier
Lula Pena. Pic credit: Lucile Dizier
Atlantic Arc Orchestra. Pic credit: Louis Decarlo

The Grand Opera House will play host to two musical acts as part of one evening for the Belfast International Arts Festival next month.

The special double bill will take place on Monday, October 16 and will feature the Atlantic Arc Orchestra and Portuguese singer Lula Pena.

The Atlantic Arc Orchestra is a new collaboration of some of the world’s most respected traditional musicians under the direction of Donal Lunny (Planxty) and featuring Co Tyrone born musician, Jarlath Henderson.

This acclaimed group features musicians and singers from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, including Dónal Lunny (Bouzouki & Musical Director), Pauline Scanlon (Vocals), Pádraig Rynne (Concertina), Jarlath Henderson (Uilleann Pipes, Whistles, Guitar, Vocals), Aidan O’Rourke (Fiddle), Sylvain Barou (Uilleann Pipes, Flutes), Ewen Vernal (Bass) and John Blease (Drums, Percussion).

AAO studio - credit Louis Decarlo.jpg
Atlantic Arc Orchestra. Pic credit: Louis Decarlo

Meanwhile, Lula Pena will complete the evening’s line-up with her unique vocal and guitar style, taking in folk blues, flamenco, Latin, French chanson, orna hues fado and bossa nova.

Director of Belfast International Arts Festival, Richard Wakely, said he is "delighted to be able to present such a high calibre double bill."

He added: "Donal Lunny is one of the great musical alchemists working in Irish music today and has assembled a super group of trad musicians that are likely to thrill and entertain in equal parts.

"And Lula Pena has a beautiful blend of mysterious and evocative acoustic guitar and vocals derived from the fado tradition.

"To bring one of these acts to the Grand Opera House stage on their own is a great privilege for those watching and listening; but to have both of these world class performers on one stage in one night is a special treat that should not be missed."

Tickets are available now at, by calling 028 9089 2707 or in person at the box office in The MAC.

The Belfast International Arts Festival runs from 6-28 October.

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