MORE than 550 choristers from home and away will take part in Limerick Sings International Choral Festival, platforming three major concerts in different venues. The States, Sweden, Britain are represented as well as Dublin, Cork and of course, Limerick.
Jeffrey Benson, a leading light in the choral field worldwide, will conduct the Gala Concert on Saturday June 11. His first Carnegie Hall appearancewas a few weeks ago, with the New York Festival Orchestra.
Campus Life Services at UL is the organising body for the weekend taking place June 10 to 12, between city centre venues and Adare. National stakeholders include Fáilte Ireland, Wild Atlantic Way and RTE Supporting the Arts.
“Now we are in our fifth year and expanding out, with a packed itinerary,” promises Sinead Hope, heading up University Concert Hall. “The programmes are all very different, light and popular. First off we have 10 choirs singing in St Mary’s Cathedral on Friday June 10, everything from Palestrina to Dvorak to Swedish folk music. It will be music appropriate to the venue and acoustics will be fantastic”. 8pm.
For the Gala Concert at her own UCH on Saturday June 11 with RTE’s Lorcan Murray hosting, she’s looking forward to the New Dublin Voices choice of Shakespearean songs, with elements of poetry, singing a-capella. Limerick Choral Union will revive extracts from ‘The Armed Man’.
Visiting choirs from the US, organised by Zoe Franciscus, present Haydn’s ‘Lord Nelson Mass’ accompanied by Limerick Sinfonia under Dr Benson.
Summer Proms shape the final concert, taking place in Adare’s Holy Trinity Church on Sunday 12, 3.30pm. Underlining that the concept of this festival embraces the wider community, Sinead says these closing chorals will be upbeat and various with ‘The Lion Sings Tonight’, ‘Scarborough Fair’ and, wait for it, Abba.
“Look forward to pop-up recitals at St Augustine’s Church on Saturday 11 at 11am and at Sunday services. We want to do a choral trail, not just formal evening choirs. And for the brave, there’s a dawn chorus that Saturday morning here at the Living Bridge in UL”.
There’s a full programme and booking at www.limericksings.ie