50 choral years of celebration


by Rose Rushe


A Limerick Choral Union 2013

WHEN the 100 or so members of Limerick Choral Union swell out the stage of UCH on April 18, it will be with due pride.

Pride this Good Friday in singing the world premier of commissioned work, ‘spirestone’ by writer Mary Coll and composer Fiona Linnane. Coll and Linnane were duly winners of the Boston Metro Opera prize 2013 for ‘art song cycle’ and composed for piano and choir, the internationally rated Stuart O’Sullivan will accompany the choral union for this work.

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There is pride also in the LCU’s five decades together, its 35-strong professional orchestra and an ability to engage soloists of calibre for epic concerts. And it’s a wonderful platform for us, the audience, by which to appreciate locally based talent such as director Malcolm Green, pianist O’Sullivan, the composers and soloist Sarah-Ellen Murphy.

“We have three soloists for this concert,” confirms PRO and member Lorraine McMahon, “and all three will sing with our orchestra.

“The first is alto Sarah-Ellen Murphy, with ‘Che Faro Senza Euridice’ by Gluck. Then it’s baritone Gyula Nagy, who has chosen a piece from Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’, ‘It is Enough’.

Sarah-Ellen Murphy who has chosen a work by Gluck
Sarah-Ellen Murphy who has chosen a work by Gluck

“Our third is soprano Franzita Whelan who is singing Mozart’s ‘Laudate Dominum’, this time with choir and with orchestra”.

The final element to act 1 is Verdi’s ‘Stabat Mater’ in its entirety.

Post interval, the dedication is to Mozart’s ‘Requiem’, a favourite of this interviewee’s and  the first piece sung by Limerick Choral Union on its formation 50 years ago.

 What a satisfactory bookend to achievement over decades for this choir and orchestra, who fine-hone their voices 52 weeks a year in harmonious song.

Book any remaining seat at ww.uch.ie for the Friday 18, 8pm concert.