Mary O'Hara - Australia & New Zealand Tour 1981 (concert brochure)

Page 1



Mar Her Music HER LA TEST

You Are The New Day/The Prayer Of The Badger/The Rainbow Connection/Child Of The Woodland/Greenfinch & Linnet Bird The Secret Of The Roses/Try To Remember/The Garden Song/Ye Banks & Braes As I Walked Forth One Summer's Day/Chanson Pour Les Petits En fan ts/1 Gave My Love A Cherry

THE SCENT OF THE ROSES 37451 The Floral Dance/Streets Of London/And I Love You So When I'm Sixty-Four/Barbara Allen/I Know Where I'm Going Shepherds Song/Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms/Scarborough Fair What Is Life To Me Without Thee/Bright Eyes/Where 'Er You Walk/Leaving On A Jet Plane/Eriskay Love Lilt/It's Me O Lord I Autumn Leaves/All Through The Night/Where Have All The Flowers Gone/Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes Killing Me Softly With His Song




Plaisir D 'Amour/Rainy Day People The Clown/The Sun Is Burning/Too Much Magic Pussy Willows Cat Tails Sliabh Na mBan/A Friend Of Mine/The Wee Cooper O'Fife/Mon Pays Spinning Wheel

Music Speaks Louder Than Words Annie's Song/Cucuin A Chuaichin Oceans Away/Dust In The Wind The Snail/HI Have To Say I Love You In A Song/Home In The Meadow/Scorn Not His Simplicity Ceol A Phiobaire/Never My Love Roisin Dubh

Morning Has Broken/Tapestry A Hebridean Milking Song Among Silence/Bring Me A Shawl From Galway/Bridge Over Troubled Water Forty-Five Years/Una Bhan Scarlet Ribbons/Song For A Winter's Night/When I Need You Lord Of The Dance




' •-' -

Clifford Hocking presents

i/i concert


• '




Australia — New Zealand February/March 1981 • '


Mary O'Hara^will sing a selection frf m the following titles and more:The Unicorn Mon Pays Dust in the Wind •H I will walk with my Lo¥e Ord mo Bhaidin The Scent of The Roses The Rainbow Connection The Garden Song I gave my tove a Cherry Na Maori u (Child of the Woodland) The Bonnie Earl o' Moray Try to Remember Prayer of the Badger are have W th| Flowery Gone l u are th^New Day Cueuin a Chuaichiin I know where I'rjj going Ah Ehid^g Airgicyihe Silver Whistle) Luibm o Lu % ^, Judas and Irfary Troftin' the FauF ' ^ •-*• A$I walk out one sulfAp€ r,'s day Ye Ban^s and Braes AlPthr^gh fhe Night Pussy pillow Cat Tails Jhe Spanish Lady JThe Floral Dance €>h %ar Me, l|>rd fhelistCattleC^ooa Greenfinch and Lipnet

t ¥


' ,



"I am not, I think, a folk-singer as the purists understand it. What I try to do is interpret traditional songs with the skill and respect given to art songs simply by singing them with all the understanding I possess." "I still think that folk and traditional songs are among the most beautiful, but I also love Elizabethan lyrics and some modern poets' verses and prose-poems, which sing to me, so I set them to music."



' •«

PH *m

*fer**-~- • •j^3^%


noisy distracted and confused world to pause more often and listen to such songs as Mary O'Hara sings." (The Southland Times, New Zealand).


There is a calm about Mary's singing that gives peace, but there is more to it. The late Joyce Grenfell, writing in the London Observer Reviewer, stated it more succinctly: "Mary O'Hara's voice has a first day freshness in her singing."

Mary O'Hara does not have much time to herself these days. In the short period since emerging from a 12 year seclusion in an English Benedictine Monastery, she has an impressive list of achievements to her credit. She has added six new LPs to the seven she had already recorded before her monastic sojourn; she has sung to capacity audiences in London's Royal Festival and Royal Albert Halls; she has had her own very successful week at the London Palladium and repeated her successes at New York's Carnegie Hall and in Toronto's Massey Hall. She has had specials on British TV and tours of England and Ireland. She has appeared on various chat shows on both sides of the Atlantic and in 1978 readers of the Irish Post voted Mary Irish Personality of the Year.

Mary O'Hara was born in Sligo, in the west of Ireland. After boarding school in Dublin she took up playing the harp and at 16 was singing on Irish Radio. Before she was 21 she had her own programme on BBC TV and was sing-

Mary, making the news early in her career —

Baron's Profiles of 1956

No. 8 : M \ R V

( ) ! I \ H \y O'Hara i

Mary accompanies herself on the Celtic harp and loves to sing traditional Gaelic songs of Ireland and Scotland as well as English folk songs. "She displays a unique sense of what folksong is about, more I dare say than anyone else in the current folk movement. She possesses one of the most haunting voices I've yet heard," wrote a reviewer in the English Folk Review. But Mary's songs are not limited to folk as the success of her recent albums has proved. She is equally at home alone on the stage with her Celtic harp or with accompanying musicians, but she likes simplicity best and tries to avoid being swamped on stage in a mass of 'electronic ironmongery'. "There is magic and balm for the spirit in her serene art and the old and simple things. It would be good for the

hair will never really settle down; that the fey Irishness of her personality will not be tamed by constant appearances on the television screen. When she plucks at her small Irish harp, and sings some Gaelic lullaby, one is transported into the blue hills and the soft mist of the Irish countryside. The lilting artistry of her folk songs is more than beguiling but it does not conceal a strong, maybe wayward personality. The profile is half peasant, half patrician. It is hoped that the young American undergraduate whom she has captivated will not bear this gentle charmer too soon from our shores. — from the pages of the London Evening Standard.

ing at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival, which tempted the reviewer in The Scotsman to write: "The outstanding performance this year was by Mary O'Hara. Everyone who saw and heard her assures me that she undoubtedly stole the whole giddy Festival Show." Mary met and married a young American poet and Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Richard Selig and went to live in the United States. Their marriage was not destined to last long, for within 15 months Richard died. By then Mary had recorded a number of albums and had appeared in the United States, where the folk boom of the sixties was just beginning. After a performance at the Phillips Gallery in New York, Paul Hume writing in the Washington Post, claimed that "she raised to a new high level the art of folksinging." But after her husband's death, the zest had gone out of life for Mary. For four years she travelled the globe giving concerts and appearing on radio and TV. In 1959 she made an extended and highly successful tour of Australia and New Zealand. Critics the world over were unanimous in their

praise, but the more success she had the more persistently she felt the call to the monastic life. Eventually she entered a closed Benedictine monastery in England. When her health began to give way under the rigours of monastic life Mary decided to come out into the world again and, more importantly, to play publicly. In November 1977 her major "comeback" concert at London's Royal Festival Hall demonstrated to the capacity crowd that she had successfully renewed her career. She sang for the first time with accompanying musicians and her repertoire included contemporary songs as well as some of her own compositions. An album of that concert earned her a silver disc for sales in the U.K. There followed TV specials on British TV, and a concert tour of England and Ireland. She filled London's Royal Albert Hall and later the Carnegie Hall in New York. The New York Times critic wrote: "Singing traditional Celtic material and ballads, accompanying herself with adept and delicate filigree on the Irish harp, Mary O'Hara is mesmerising."

Mary OHara Later she took part in the Golden Gala at the London Palladium and before starting her own season at that theatre she was invited to perform for the Queen Mother in the Royal Variety Show. Then there was "Stars on Sunday", the "Val Doonican Music Show", "James Galway's World of Music" and many others. Readers of the Irish Post voted her Irish Personality of the Year in 1978. Where does Mary O'Hara go from here? Following a highly successful tour of the U.K. last year she is now making a long overdue return visit to Australia and New Zealand. In 1959 Mary did an eight-week concert tour of Australia in aid of a religious charity. Critics and audiences warmed to her natural qualities and the Melbourne Herald critic said "... the one joy in which everyone shared was the cool and crystal clear artistry of Mary O'Hara ... If Miss O'Hara can find time to give another, or another six, recitals in Melbourne those who got into the hall last night, and those who didn't, would be very grateful." A six-week tour of New Zealand was also very successful. "She completely captured an audience which was surprisingly large for a solo artist" said the New Zealand Herald. "One comes under the spell of Miss O'Hara's artistic integrity. It was a unique experience and a musical joy" said the Christchurch Star. A new album, "The Scent of The Roses" is being released through Festival Records to co-incide with this tour, as is Mary's autobiography also titled "The Scent of The Roses", and distributed by Thomas Nelson Australia.


Twenty years ago, after hearing Mary give an impromptu performance at the time of the Edinburgh Festival, Sir Compton McKenzie said "This voice has got to be recorded so everyone can hear how beautiful it is." And so it has been. Considering her twelve years' absence from the music world, thirteen record albums is not a bad effort. And there will be more to come. On Eamonn Andrews' TV programme "This Is Your Life", Joyce Grenfell remarked "Mary's God-given gift was her voice, and what is surely meant for her, is to sing to as many people as possible." August 1980


£( Seeing her in concert is to realise why writer's wallow in excess over her. Miss O'Hara's presentation is incredibly intense, an almost frighteningly personal exposure of her love for and admiration of Irish, Scottish and French tunes, n The Globe & Mail, Toronto, Canada.


• ^M ^ ^,





t 1P 8



by George Scott-Moncrieff Lord, I do love the darkness, The hours folk call the night. Where others see but darkness, I know a Lordly light. The light that burns within Each breathing hopeful heart, And gives all living kin A godliness some part. Lord, I do love the sunlight, Reflected by the moon. I move by it at midnight, But hide from it at noon. Your daylight dawning blinds me Reveals me from above, Ungainly and unkindly Unworthy of Your love. Lord, I do love the darkness, The hours folk call the night. Where others see but blackness, I know a Lordly light. I dance between the trees Of this cathedral wood, I scent the gentlest breeze And know Your will is good.


A LIFE INTHE DAYOF MARYO'HARA Psalm 139 sets me up for the day. I lie in bed when I awake and reflect on its words every morning: 'O Lord, You search me and You know me . . .' I used to be a very irregular riser, getting up anytime between nine and noon. Mainly, I think, as a reaction to the years I spent in a monastery where I had to get up at five every morning. But now I've schooled myself to wake up at eight. Almost my first act is to go downstairs and see what the postman has popped through the letterbox. I sit on the doormat and go through the post. The guest room is round the corner and friends who come to stay complain that the assorted chuckles and chortles I emit in response to my mail wake them up. Ablutions are followed religiously by 20 minutes callisthenics in the study - with Terry Wogan's patter on Radio-2 for company. I often get ideas for songs from listening to Terry's programme. However, when I'm having breakfast or washing up I switch to Radio-3. Breakfast is unvarying. It's always fresh fruit followed by oatmeal porridge with pure bran, wheatgerm and honey. Until recently, I used to have cream and milk but the herbalist who's been treating me for sinus trouble discovered that I was allergic to milk products. I rarely drink tea or coffee, when I do it's usually herbal tea. I do all my own housework and, having rushed through the chores, I settle down to some practice. This involves doing vocal and harp exercises, learning new accompaniments, revising old songs and composing new materials. I am also sent lots of sheet music to browse over. Personally, I prefer music to be sent on cassettes as I don't have a piano at home. Around this time my manager, John Coast, calls me on the phone.

I've only been with him a short while but already he knows not to disturb me before lla.m. We discuss various projects he's got lined up for me -1 usually find my practice sessions take on greater urgency after he's called. Since coming under the care of a herbalist I've had to regulate my eating habits. So at one o'clock everything stops for lunch - two slices of wholemeal bread, a lightly boiled egg, fruit juice and nuts. I make myself have three meals a day because I don't want to lose weight. I eat sensibly, mainly health foods. After lunch I put on jeans and wellies and set out on a walk lasting anything up to two hours. It's probably the most important activity of my day. I live in a cottage on a 1200-acre estate on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border surrounded by beautiful country, so I can walk for miles through meadows, fields and woods - seeing sheep, horses, cows and the odd deer without coming across another human. If I've had to to go away recording during the day I take my walk at night, with a lantern. At first people on the estate thought I was a poacher, but now they've got used to my nocturnal habits. On my walk my mind is completely relaxed. Although I relate well to people it's in my nature to be a loner. I'm enriched by friendships but I'm very content to be by myself. When I left the monastery, after a second bout of what can best be des-

cribed as nervous and physical exhaustion, I had no desire to take up my previous occupation as a professional singer. It was very reluctantly that I agreed to go back to singing. The trappings of show business don't interest me. I'm content to go to a concert hall or television studio, perform as best I can and then jump into 'Marco the Dragon' [her red Volkswagen Polo] and return to my cottage, walks and, in the summer, tennis. I love the grace and movement of tennis. I only wish I could play it ail the year round. I return home from my walk about four o'clock ready to tackle my correspondence. I get lots of letters from people who've been affected one way or the other by my music and I answer them all. I write the letters sitting on the floor with the writing pad on my knees. I'm frightfully scatty, forever losing things like my precious address book or my diary. But I get on to St Anthony [the patron saint of lost property] and ask him to get cracking. He's never failed me so far. Only a few weeks ago I left my handbag in a taxi in London and, within three days, it arrived by first-class post with everything intact. Inside was a note, signed 4an admirer', taking me to task for being careless and informing me that as a reward my admirer had bought goods worth ÂŁ50 off one of my credit cards. Early in the evening I look through

Radio Times and TV Times and ma the programmes I want to see. I wou never miss The Muppets, Fawl Towers or the Attenborough pr grammes. But the television is nev switched on before I sit down to dinn about 7p.m. Until I was taken o dairy products I used to be a veg tarian. But now that I've been p back on meat I have lamb, chicken beef with plenty of raw vegetables an fruit to follow. If there's a recording session or concert coming up I will spend large part of the evening practisin sometimes even late into the nigh The estate stables are next door to m cottage and one of the stable lads te me that a couple of the horses a susceptible to my music - especial at night. I'm rarely in bed before midnigh even though I keep promising myse an early night. I often write letters bed, but nearly always I read. At th moment it's Van der Post's biograph of Jung. I tend to re-read; I've r cently gone back to Tolkien an Tagore. Then before I shut my ey I reach for my seven vitamin pi and down them with a drink lemon and honey. I picked u the formula in a I health food shop I in Canada. It's' perfect for a good . night's sleep. |

What the Critics Say "Only a poet could avoid gaucherie in describing, song by song, Mary O'Haras recital Naivete and worldly wisdom are magically welded into a style that can express all that is human and moving and totally unaffected by time." F.C. Campbell in the WASHINGTON EVENING STAR

"The rest of the evening was entertainment: this was beauty". Charles Acton, IRISH TIMES "Mary O'Hara . . . is steeped in traditional music. This she treats artistically to gain the perfection which the ethnic singer never seems to attain. " Liam Clancy

"Mary O'Hara . . . is simply without peer. She possesses one of the most lovely voices it's ever been my happy lot to listen to . . . gives deathless beauty of everything she sings." FOLK REVIEW (U.K.)

"Her accompaniments on the harp had the same skill and musical insight as her singing..." Christchurch Star, N.Z.

"Mary O'Hara's voice has a first day freshness in her singing. Joyce Grenfell in the OBSERVER REVIEW (U.K.)

"Mary O'Hara displays a unique sense of what folk-song is about — more I dare say than almost anyone in the current folk movement. She possesses one of the most haunting voices I've yet heard . . . always raising the simp list song to her own high standards." Folk Review, (England Nov 1975)

"... In her area of entertainment she is without peer and it can only be hoped that she can be brought to increasing audiences . . . She alone at this time can convey what is most exquisite and delicate in Irish culture." THE IRISH POST (U.K.)

"Exquisite purity and delicacy that almost defies description." Evening Star, Washington DC

Mary O'Hara reveals a world of beauty. " GRAMAPHONE (U.K.)

A programme "Ishould have been sorry to miss" Maurice Wiggan, Sunday Times, London

"The texture of her voice is compounded of the same gentle and elusive sweetness as the sound of her harp." Robert Shelton in the NEW YORK TIMES

"My songs are my biography. I sing songs only that I can identify with. That's why "God-Songs" mean so much to me." Mary O'Hara

"Mary O'Hara gives a sense of timelessness and agelessness and the original sense of what song is for. " Joyce Grenfell

"Attractive and charming, she has the rare ability to really transport her audience. Whether she sings about loneliness or love, God and or Fairies, her art is the kind that takes one into the world of pure poetry." The Word Magazine

She raised to a new high level the art of folksinging." Paul Hume in the WASHINGTON POST "Hers is the art that conceals art. " Evening Post, New Zealand WEXFORD FESTIVAL magic undimmed."

OF ARTS. " . . . Mary O'Hara s Irish Times, Dublin

"An aura of genius attends her, something indefinable which goes straight to the heart. . ." Evening Press, Dublin

"In her own particular field I know few to equal and none to excel Mary O'Hara. Charles Acton, Irish Times "Mary O'Hara has long been established as one of Irelands finest musicians. She is a singer and harpist of distinction and has elevated the best of the greatest Irish tradition to a level of consumate artistry in her performances." Gerrard Victory, Director of Music, RTE — Irish Television "There is magic and balm for the spirit in her serene art and in the old and simple things, some of them once sad, but now distilled into poetry, of which she sings. It would be good for the noisy distracted and confused world to pause more often and listen to such songs as Mary sings."

The Southland Times, N.Z.




CLIFFORD HOCKING ENTERPRISES PTY. LTD. 303 Collins Street, Melbourne, Vic. 3000 Australia Telephone: (03) 62 4884 Cables: "Hocking Melbourne" Managing Director Director Tour Co-ordinator & Publicity Director Local Representatives: Sydney Perth Adelaide Newcastle Brisbane Canberra New Zealand

Clifford Hocking David Vigo Judy Green Pam Saunderson (02)2123300 Frank Smith (09) 384 0560 Promcon Corporation (08) 272 9888 Alan Yeates (049)21561 Paul Sharratt (075) 38 2077 Coralie Wood (062)474195 Bruce Warwick Wellington 85 6382

The MARY O'HARA souvenir programme was produced and published by

FAN ENTERPRISES 22 Upton Road, Prahran, Victoria, 3181, Australia. Phone 51 4181.

Mary O'Hara Ihe^cent of therms The moving autobiography of this gentle and talented singer: her sad love story, her retirement to a convent and her return to a successful stage career.

Copies of The Scent of the Roses are available at this concert and from all good bookshops.