The world-renowned Cork International Choral Festival takes place online for the first time ever this year from Wednesday April 28th – Sunday May 2nd, featuring 82 choirs from across Ireland and around the globe.
Tickets are available to book for the festival’s specially curated and keenly priced online concerts, events and FREE interactive workshops which will see 48 international choirs from countries including Russia, Turkey, Columbia, Switzerland, Sweden, China, USA, Netherlands, Morocco, Venezuela, Indonesia, Israel, Singapore, and of course, Ireland, compete and perform.
The prestigious choral festival, which normally attracts 5,000 singers and 50,000 visitors from all over the world to Cork city and county, will open this Wednesday evening, April 28th with a specially commissioned poem, ‘A Singing City’ written by renowned Cork poet, Billy Ramsell. Voiced by arts broadcaster, Elmarie Mawe, the virtual performance will be backed by some exceptional archival footage of the festival featuring breath-taking scenes of the City and County.
Thursday evening, April 29th, will feature a specially produced documentary film about Ireland’s best known and most diverse choral ensemble, Anúna, made by their founder, director and composer Michael McGlynn. Featuring a programme of Anúna repertoire, the film tells the story of the group’s long association with the choral festival through interviews and a selection of live material, some of which has never been seen publicly before.
On Friday April 30th, Chamber Choir Ireland, the festival’s choir in residence, will perform from Cork’s St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral with what is anticipated to be an exhilarating performance including no fewer than three world premieres. The first is a new piece by composer Amanda Feery, commissioned by the festival last year, while the winning compositions of both the 2020 and 2021 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competitions, Peter Leavy and Norah Walsh, will also be performed.
Saturday night will see one of Ireland’s most acclaimed vocal ensembles, Resurgam, also singing in St. Finbarre’s Cathedral, performing an array of early choral music.
Sunday night’s closing gala concert promises an exciting performance from Berlin based a capella group ONAIR, who were scheduled to play as part of the cancelled 2020 Festival, taking to the stage.
The festival’s four gala concerts will be preceded by a discussion with the performers, giving the audience an added insight into the programme. Tickets for each of the individual concerts are available to book online from corkchoral.ie for just €5.99 or €19.95 for a full online festival pass. All competitions are free to view on the website and will also be streamed across the festival’s social media channels.
In addition to the gala performances, the competition strand of the festival is expected to remain fiercely competitive, with a newly expanded national and international programme being delivered via video submission. This year, the festival also launches its inaugural Ibec Workplace Choir of the Year Competition, as well as national and international A Cappella Video Competitions, while entries for the National Open Competitions remain strong.
Anyone, musical or not, can join in with the festival’s FREE online workshops in partnership with Sing Ireland, including the ever-popular Big Sing, a group singing experience led online this year by Ardú contemporary ensemble director, Ciarán Kelly, who will prepare participants for one big uplifting online performance on May 1st.
Commenting, Peter Stobart, Artistic Director of the festival said, “We hope that this year’s Cork International Choral Festival has something for everyone and that as many people as possible will engage with what we have to offer and support the festival at a time when the arts and singing particularly are affected so gravely. We genuinely appreciate the support of our funders, the Arts Council, Cork City Council, Cork County Council & Fáilte Ireland and all our sponsors and partners, without whom we would not be able to deliver this unique festival of song and we look forward to being back in person in 2022!”
Details of all concerts, workshops and competitions are available on the festival website. For more information or to book tickets see https://www.corkchoral.ie/ #CorkChoral