Riverdance composer Bill Whelan composed The Seville Suite in 1992. After many years of producing and performing, this was to be Bill's first major orchestral composition. Through music, Bill 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 who were later to appear in Riverdance. Maria Pagés, who also later became a featured performer in Riverdance The Show, danced the last movement of the work.
Bill Whelan, composer of Riverdance, has worked extensively in theatre, television and film. His orchestral works include the specially commissioned piece, The Seville Suite (1992) and The Spirit Of Mayo (1993). His work in international film includes Lamb, which he co-composed with Van Morrison, his emotive score for the Jim Sheridan/Terry George film Some Mother's Son and the original score for the film version of Brian Friel's award winning Dancing At Lughnasa, which starred Meryl Streep. Bill recently composed the musical score for the critically acclaimed Irish history television documentary, The Seven Ages, produced and directed by Sean O Mordha.
Bill Whelan is the winner of the 1997 Grammy Award for “Best Musical Show Album” Riverdance which has been a huge chart success, reaching double platinum status in Ireland and platinum in the USA. Riverdance The Show continues to tour the world.
The Seville Suite album also contains the much requested title “Timedance” by Planxty. This re-recording assembles the original musicians including Liam O’Flynn, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny as well as Nollaig Casey on fiddle.