Cork City Prison Officers Male Voice Choir and school students from Loreto Fermoy join forces
20 prison officers from the Cork City Prison Officers Male Voice Choir are set to join 60 secondary school students from Loreto Fermoy to form the choir for the upcoming Celtic concert performance of The Children of Lir at Cork Opera House this May 18th and 19th.
Jackie O’Connell is the voluntary Musical Director with the Cork City Prison Officers Choir, she says, “We are a very committed choir, we all love music and we are also a unique choir. The musical score from The Children of Lir is beautiful. I can tell already that this music is going to have a huge impact during the performance.
Learning the pieces haven’t been easy but it has been incredibly worth it, we are now practising with the backing music, and we can tell that this is going to be a powerful performance. This is the first time that our choir will perform at Cork Opera House, and we’re working really hard and very excited for the occasion.”
The choir from Loreto in Fermoy range from second-year students to leaving certificate students. The all-girls choir are led by music teacher Tim Fouhy, Tim says, “The choir are very excited to sing in the opera house, it’s a new experience for them. They are used to singing in competitions and not so used to singing with a professional band or a male voice choir and the folk musical style is also new to them, and I think students and singers very much need these kinds of opportunities and it may sow seeds for them for the future for a broader music appreciation. It will be a really excellent experience for the girls and I think it will be something that they will always remember.”
The acclaimed Children of Lir is being hosted by its composer Brian O’Reilly and his band Loudest Whisper. Brian first staged his musical rendition of ‘The Children of Lir’ in 1973. It was an immediate success and heralded as Ireland’s first Folk Opera. It was so successful, Polydor Records picked up on it and signed ‘Loudest Whisper’ to make an album of the music. Ireland’s first concept album ‘The Children of Lir’ was issued in 1975 and this is now a much sought-after collector’s item. ‘The Children of Lir’ has since been enjoyed by over 30,000 people all over the world.
This unique Celtic concert will be performed three times over the period of Friday, May 18th and Saturday, May 19th. The two choirs will also be joined by a string quartet and the 9 musicians of Loudest Whisper all under the baton of the music conductor Fergal O’Connor will perform the concert score. Four Ballerinas from Ballet Theatre Ireland Dance Academy in Cork have also been auditioned and selected to depict the story of the ‘The Children of Lir’ on stage as folk singer Donovan narrates the concert.
‘The Children of Lir’ Celtic Concert will be performed at the Cork Opera House May 18th†and 19th, with a matinee at 12 noon for schools on May 18th and an 8 pm evening concert on both May 18th and 19th. Further information and tickets see www.corkoperahouse.ie†or call 021 427 0022.