Two choirs join forces to stage what will be one of the classical music highlights of the summer this Saturday night, 17 June, at Galway Cathedral.
The award-winning Galway Baroque Singers have teamed up with the Dun Laoghaire Choral Society, Fishamble Sinfonia orchestra and soloists to bring this night of music to the Cathedral on Saturday, 17 June, at 8pm, the last in the Choral Fusion double choir series.
Audrey Corbett, conductor and founder of the Galway Baroque Singers, explains that the two choirs will perform four works together by the Italian baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741).
“The music is for double choir which is different for us. It is very exciting and it is also our final concert of our work together,” she says. “This is an attractive concert because of the music itself, it’s lighter and delightful.”
Many people will be familiar with Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’, which is regarded as one of his great masterpieces. His works are characterised by their cheerful, exhilarating style, as the works selected for the forthcoming concerts will show.
Working with the Dun Laoghaire Choral Society, led by conductor David Brophy, has been a great experience, says Audrey. “It has been a busy year but we have got to meet so many new people through this experience and getting to sing together.”
Formed in 1983, there are between 60 and 70 singers involved with Galway Baroque Singers, including 20 members that were there when the group was first established.
Originally from Dublin but living in Galway for many years, Audrey is an accomplished pianist in her own right. “My love of music was nurtured from a young age. Both my parents played piano.”
She has been nationally recognised for her outstanding contribution to choral music. A member of the Board of Directors of the National Concert Hall for five years, in 2008 she was awarded an Honorary Masters Degree by NUI Galway in recognition of her services to choral music. It was a huge honour for her. “I was very touched by this and it was such a huge surprise.”
Audrey had been involved in various choirs before founding the Galway Baroque Singers. Throughout her time with the group, she has had many members tell her how important the choir is to them. “They have said that they couldn’t have got through tough times without the choir. There is something about singing together and producing a wonderful sound. We said years ago how good it is for people because we just could see it from experience. People come in and they leave elated.”
Audiences too will leave elated on Saturday, as the final concert in the Choral Fusion series features Vivaldi’s works Beatus Vir RV 597, Dixit Dominus RV594, Lauda Jerusalem RV 609 and Kyrie RV 587.
Vivaldi’s masterful genius and virtuosity can be heard throughout the pieces. Beatus Vir was composed for two choirs by Vivaldi to highlight the musical talent of Venice while Dixit Dominus provides a wonderful setting of Psalm 110, consisting of 5 movements.
The last work is Kyrie in G minor for double choir and orchestra.
This work opens with a solemn movement, and has a duet for just the sopranos and altos from both choirs, with string accompaniment. The last movement consists of a passionate Kyrie.
The five soloists for this concert are Sopranos Amy Ní Fhearraigh and Kelli-Ann Masterson, Alto Bríd Ní Ghruagáin, Tenor John McKeown and Bass David Howes.
After this, the Baroque Singers will take a break for the summer before re-grouping in September and holding a concert later on in the year.
The Vivaldi Choral Fusion Concert with Galway Baroque Singers and Dun Laoghaire Choral Society takes place in Galway Cathedral this Saturday 17 June.
Tickets are €20 and are available in advance from Charlie Byrne’s Bookstore, Middle Street, Galway. They are also available on the door on the night and on Eventbrite.ie.
See galwaybaroquesingers.com for more information.