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  • News

Fleischman Choirs annual Christmas Concert a highlight in its 21st season

Friday, 30th November, 2012 4:22pm
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Fleischman Choirs annual Christmas Concert a highlight in its 21st season

It’s bitter-sweet times for the 150 members of the Fleischmann Choir.

The choir’s founder-conductor, Dr Geoffrey Spratt, will retire at the end of its 21st season, but not before he has been at the helm for three mighty projects: the choir’s annual Christmas concert on December 9th, the opening of the Cork International Choral Festival on May 1st next year, and a performance in one of Cork’s twin cities, Cologne, next autumn.

For their annual Christmas concert the Fleischmann Choir will give the first performance in Cork of Honegger’s beautiful Christmas Cantata. This was the composer’s last work and it really is a telling of the Christmas story with a difference. Cries from the depths (‘De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine’), give way to a veritable medley of well-known Christmas carol texts and music, and provide an opportunity for the voices of the Cork School of Music’s junior choirs to join with the Fleischmann Choir and the Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra (CSMSO).

Cork-born and trained baritone, Brendan Collins, returns to renew his partnership with all concerned as the principal soloist, and audiences who have enjoyed the Fleischmann Choir’s performances in St Michael’s Church, Blackrock, in recent years, will also appreciate the cameo-part for boy soprano, Hughie O’Connor. And it is all the more special because Geoffrey Spratt wrote the book on Honegger and his music, which was published by Cork University Press in 1987!

Next May, the choir will present Michael Tippett’s spectacular oratorio, A child of our time, and bring a glittering array of soloists with it to the stage of City Hall: Mary Hegarty (soprano), Bridget Knowles (contralto), Robin Tritschler (tenor), and Owen Gilhooly (baritone).

The presence of even one of these internationally-renowned singers would be a coup for a concert in Cork – the presence of all four speaks volumes about the reputation of the Fleischmann Choir and the Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra, and what they have achieved over the last 20 years.

The collaboration between the Cologne Philharmonic Choir and the Fleischmann Choir itself dates back nearly twenty years and there have been memorable joint concerts in both cities when Verdi’s Requiem and Berlioz’s Te Deum thrilled audiences.

Members of the Cologne choir will be here in Cork next May, and the Fleischmann Choir will travel to Cologne next October – city twinning operating at its best!

The Fleischmann Choir’s Christmas Concert in St Michael’s Church, Blackrock, is at a family-friendly time of 5pm on Sunday 9 December 2012. The performance will last an hour, tickets (available in advance from the Cork School of Music’s Public Office on Union Quay, and from members of the Fleischmann Choir) are very modestly priced (from as little as €10) – and there’s also a super-value Family ticket available.

The audience will also be thrilled by a performance of Poulenc’s Organ Concerto by the Organist of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, James Taylor, with the CSMSO – and those who were at the Open Day lunchtime concert in the Cork School of Music recently when this was performed are all talking about it being very, very special.

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