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Harpist-Storyteller Adds Acting To His Repertoire

Patrick Ball wears many hats.

He’s known as the world’s premier Celtic harp player. He’s also an adept storyteller of old Irish folklore and history. And at concerts, including last year’s at The Met, Ball seamlessly merges the two talents.

Now the acclaimed artist, who released several albums during the ‘80s and ‘90s, is donning a new hat: acting. For his latest spin through the country, Ball has collaborated with playwright Peter Glazer, who wrote and directed “Woody Guthrie’s American Song,” to produce a one-man show titled “O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music.”

Ball performs the musical tonight at The Met.

“O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music” is a combination of dialogue and music that tells the life story of 17th- and 18th-century Irish harpist, poet and composer Torlough O’Carolan. The tale is told through the eyes of poet-harpist Charles MacCabe.

O’Carolan, who died in 1738, is considered “the last of the Irish bards.” Bards performed for kings and chieftains for over 1,000 years, combining spoken words with harp.

But when Ireland fell to English rule, bards’ talents were no longer implored. So they were left to roam the Irish countryside. Thus, the tradition disappeared.

Ball picked up the tradition in his journeys to Ireland and the Appalachian Mountains, Celtic folks’ first home in America. The modern-day bard was particularly inspired by O’Carolan’s work, which eventually led to Ball’s latest endeavor.

, DataTimes MEMO: Patrick Ball will perform “O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music” at 8 tonight at The Met. Tickets are $12, available at Street Music and G&B Select-a-Seat outlets, or call (800) 325-SEAT.

Patrick Ball will perform “O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music” at 8 tonight at The Met. Tickets are $12, available at Street Music and G&B; Select-a-Seat outlets, or call (800) 325-SEAT.

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