In 1987, Dublin composer Michael McGlynn founded ANÚNA.
The ensemble's name, originally An Uaithne, derives from the collective term for the three ancient types of Irish music Suantraí (lullaby), Geantraí (happy song) and Goltraí (lament).
The majority of singers come from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with many of its members also drawn from all over the world. Their repertoire is written or arranged for the group by McGlynn, and includes reconstructions of Early and Medieval music from Ireland and beyond presented in a candle-lit, costumed ambience that allows the group to connect with a very wide variety of audience despite the eclectic nature of the music they sing.
Anúna perform between twelve and fourteen singers, unconducted, in any performance. They are equally at home in an amplified theatrical setting or an unamplified concert hall.
Anúna created the vocal ambience of Riverdance (1994-1996), achieved a Top 10 placing on the U.K. Singles Charts while remaining at Number 1 on the Irish singles charts for eighteen weeks. In 2012 they appeared as the "Voices of Hell" on the video game Diablo 3 [Blizzard] gaining a Game Audio Network Guild nomination for the Best Original Choral Performance in February 2013. In February 2018 the group won the Outstanding Ensemble category of the Annual Game Music Awards for their contributions to the soundtrack of the hugely successful video game Xenoblade Chronicles II. In February 2017 the group particpated in an extraordinary collaboration with Noh Theatre entitled "Takahime", a Japanese adaptation of W.B. Yeats' play "At the Hawk's Well". The performance was directed by Gensho Umewaka (Japanese National Treasure) and Michael McGlynn, who also composed an original score.
While curating the Meltdown Festival at London's South Bank, Elvis Costello invited Anúna to perform as featured guests and in 2011 they featured on DVD and CD with the pioneering Australian children's entertainers The Wiggles. A number of Anúna singers have gone on to carve very successful careers as solo artists including singer-songwriter Hozier [2007 - 2012] and six of the lead soloists in the phenomenally successful Celtic Woman including Lynn Hilary and Éabha McMahon.
In complete contrast, as a classical choral ensemble Anúna have appeared at the World Sacred Music Festival in Morocco and at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, London. They have sung at many major classical venues including the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, De Doelen Rotterdam, Hyogo Performing Arts Center and Orchard Hall in Tokyo, New York Town Hall and Minneapolis Symphony Hall.
They have collaborated with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland on two major concerts of McGlynn's compositions at Dublin's National Concert Hall (2009 & 2010).
Anúna have an active and highly successful Education & Outreach programme that has been responsible for workshops across China, Japan, Spain, Belgium, Israel, Sweden, Canada, Poland, the UK and The Netherlands. In 2012 they presented at the Shanghai Conservatory. In 2015 the group presented an interest Session as part of the American Choral Directors Association National Conference at Salt Lake, Utah, USA. In 2018 their fifth highly successful annual ANÚNA International Summer School in Dublin, which attracts professional and amateur choral musicians from all over the world, will take place in Dublin.
Anúna have released seventeen albums since 1991 and have been featured artists on three Grammy Award-winning albums. Invocation (1994) won a National Entertainment Award for Classical music, while Deep Dead Blue (1996) was nominated for a Classical Brit Award. Celtic Origins (2007), also an award-winning PBS show and DVD, became the number one selling CD on the US World Music Charts that August while September 2011 saw their album Christmas Memories reaching the Hot 100 of the Billboard Album Chart. In 2008 the choir released Invocations of Ireland, McGlynn's self-made film, an evocative depiction of the Irish landscape and its relationship to his music. This has been broadcast extensively in Australia/New Zealand, with the DVD being released on Australia's DV1 and Columbia Music Entertainment in Japan.
They have been signed to some of the world's major record labels including Decca, Universal Classics, Polygram, E1 and Philips. Michael McGlynn's sheet music is available from www.michaelmcglynn.com.