“4,600 voices, 85 performances, from 22 countries for 5 days in Cork.”
That’s the 55th Cork International Choral Festival which kicks of this coming Wednesday and runs until Sunday May 3rd. There’s a lovely variety of performances on offer from chamber groups to children’s choirs and numerous competitive events in between including the prestigious Fleischmann International Trophy Competition which takes places on Saturday.
Some performances that grabbed my attention on browsing over the brochure that may tickle your choral fancy:
Opening Gala Concert with Cork Symphony Orchestra: A Sea Symphony
Shandon Sunrise with Cathal O’Baoill & Gothenburg Youth Choir
The National Chamber Choir of Ireland: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous
Fleischmann International Trophy Competition
Closing Gala Concert
Most if not all ticketed events are on sale via the online booking system, over the phone on + 353 (21) 4501673 or in person at the Everyman Palace Theatre box office. Family rates, group rates and season rates are also available. Check out the website at www.corkchoral.ie.
Across from City Hall on Lapp’s Quay there will be a Festival Food Fair on the boardwalk from 10am to 4pm on Saturday while The Clarion Hotel will be satisfying your afternoon & late night choral needs with performances in the Atrium on Saturday & Sunday afternoons from 2.30pm – 6pm and again from 10pm – 2am.
On Thursday last, I had the fortune of getting to hear a powerful, moving & inspiring rendition of George Fredrick Handels’ famous work, ‘Messiah’. As part of a week of celebrations in Dublin called ‘Handel 250′, the magnificent choir of Christ Church Cathedral, The Orchestra of Saint Cecilia, soloists Deboragh Abbot (soprano), Duncan Brickenden (alto), Peter Davoren (tenor) & Philip O’Reilly (bass) gathered in the beautiful venue of Christ Church Cathedral for a performance of the ‘Messiah’, a piece first performed in Dublin in April of 1742.
My first memories of hearing this beautiful piece go back to when I was in 2nd class of primary school, about 8 years old. Our teacher at the time occasionally had a ‘music appreciation’ lesson & more often than not it was an aria or chorus from ‘Messiah’. I have for years failed to catch a live performance of it and my am I sorry it’s taken me so long to do so. It was magnificent from start to finish. The infamous ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ didn’t disappoint – I haven’t felt goosebumps race from head to toe like the ones I felt on hearing the voices raising the roof with their rendition of the powerful chorus. Admittedly, I was moved to tears by it!
Congratulations to all involved in the performance and in the festival that ran all week which seemed to offer up a fantastic selection of musical delights. There’s photos and video from the week over at the Temple Bar Cultural Trust website.
You can sample some choral tracks I recorded (only when the blinking iPhone decided it wanted to) right here.