11 December 2015
By Bryan Smyth
On Sunday, Cork International Choral Festival launches their exciting 2016 Gala Concerts Programme along with their box office in celebration of World Choral Day. This year will be the Festival’s 62nd and will reaffirm its position as the longest running Festival in Cork. As part of the Glow Celebrations in marking World Choral Day, Cork International Choral Festival brought together a great number of voices, including children from the Montfort College of Performing Arts Youth Choir, Cantate Chamber Choir and Pfizerphonics to perform on a specially-assembled stage on Grand Parade to celebrate World Choral Day and to get us into the Christmas Spirit!
The newly launched programme will see everything kick off at the Opening Gala Concert on Wednesday 27th April in Cork City Hall with Fleischmann Choir, and CIT CSM Symphony, Conductor – Conor Palliser celebrating Irish heritage and will feature Gerald Finzi’s Intimations of Immortality for Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra with soloist Robin Tritschler and the first performance in Cork of Fleischmann’s Cornucopia for Horn and Orchestra with soloist Cormac Ó’ HAodáin. Programme will also include Seán Ó Riada’s Mise Éire Suite together with an accompanying film of the period. Pre-concert recital will feature the Band of 1 Brigade.
The following Gala Concert on Thursday 28th April will have The Real Group reprise their incredible 2013 concert in Cork showcasing their amazing vocal talents. Based in Sweden, The Real Group is one of the world’s finest vocal ensembles. They are renowned for their excellent ensemble singing, stunning arrangements, and captivating audiences world-wide. Their repertoire consists of arrangements of jazz, sometimes leaning towards folk and pop. A night of entertainment and vocal quality not to be missed! Friday 29th April will leave you spoilt for choice. The 7.30pm concert in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral from Chamber Choir Ireland (Festival choir in residence) premières not only a newly commissioned work from composer Stephen McNeff commemorating the women of 1916, but also from the winner of this year’s Séan Ó Riada Competition for Irish composers. The entire programme includes a wider 1916 commemorative repertoire and a Shakespeare element commemorating the Bard’s death. Friday 29th April gets even busier with the late-night concert Evocations set to take place in the Cathedral of St Mary & St Anne at 10.30pm. The evening will platform the foremost exponents of medieval song, White Raven. Based in Switzerland, this a cappella vocal trio, sings arrangements of Irish traditional, Scottish, and Medieval song. Hailed as “voices of purest gold” by the Irish Times critics, White Raven has perfected the art of ensemble singing with their unique timbre and exquisite blend of voices.
With over twenty International groups already confirmed for the Festival, 2016 looks set to maintain its high standard and cosmopolitan appeal, ensuring its artistic future and integrity as one of the world’s most prestigious Choral Festivals. In light of that prestige we have the International Fleischmann Gala which will take pride of place on Saturday 30th April in City Hall, where some of the world’s top amateur choirs compete for one of the most prestigious prizes in International standards.
The Closing Gala Concert in City Hall on Sunday 1st May will mark the end of a jam-packed Festival week with International choirs presenting choral music representative of their musical and cultural backgrounds in a joyful celebration of song and colour.
Festival Tickets are available for purchase through the online booking system at www.corkchoral.ie, and in person from the Festival Box Office at The Everyman, MacCurtain Street. So get set this Christmas with the perfect gift for you or a loved one and get booking to ensure your May Bank Holiday weekend will be the one to have you singing in the city, the ultimate soundtrack to your social life.