UL appoints head in performing arts

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

UL appoints head in performing arts

Professor Mel Mercier was the former head of the UCC school in music and theatre

THE University of Limerick has announced the appointment of Professor Mel Mercier as Chair of Performing Arts at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at UL.

A native of Dublin, Professor Mercier studied at UCC, and later at the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, before being awarded a PhD from the UL in 2011. He has played a pioneering role in the development and delivery of University College Cork’s uniquely diverse music programmes. He was appointed as the first Head of UCC School of Music of Music and Theatre in 2009 and promoted to Professor in 2015.

Professor Mercier said he is delighted to be joining the UL campus, praising the academy's “ground-breaking programmes and state-of-the-art facilities”, which he said “are a testament to the enlightened educational ambitions of UL and the imagination and energy of the Academy's world-class faculty and inspirational founding Chair, Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin.

 UL president, Professor Don Barry, said they are “fortunate” to welcome him to UL. “I know that Mel’s unique personal and professional portfolio of education, research, composition and performance expertise and experience will inspire and evolve the Academy’s remarkable innovations in the Performing Arts into the future, in close and creative partnership with our pioneering staff, students, researchers and alumni,” said president Barry.

A renowned performer, Mel has collaborated with Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin for over 35 years. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 2012 for the score he composed for the Broadway production of Colm Toibin’s ‘The Testament of Mary’. He is currently working on several projects, including co-devising a new play with writer Pat McCabe and director Pat Kiernan for the 1916 Centenary, and music composition for The Tempest, with director Deborah Warner, for Salzburg Festival 2016.