Number 18. Monday, 26th October, 2015


Orpheus returns to the Village Arts Centre in Kilworth with 'Irish Melodies'

The Orpheus Choir's first appearance in Kilworth's Village Arts Centre, at Andrew Thomson's debut recital back in April of 2014, flabbergasted the unsuspecting audience with an exciting 'flash-mob' finale of 'The Toreador Song' from Bizet's 'Carmen'. 

On Friday, 6th. November, 2015, at 8.15 pm, it will be returning in its own right in a concert shared with Jason Turk's New Style Trad Band 'Torcán' with a programme of 'easy-listening' Irish Melodies.
Starting this eleventh year of The Orpheus Choir on a slightly different note with a number of 'evergreen' folk melodies given a fresh 'lick of paint', as it were, in 'easy-listening', contemporary arrangements by young American and Canadian composers, the choir has a fair amount of fast learning to do, this concert being held so very early in the season, but the nature of the music is such that the process is more of a pleasure than a pain!
Amongst old favourites like 'Home, sweet home', 'The Sailor and young Nancy' and Tommy Makem's haunting 'Winds of Morning', the choir will perform 'As I hear the sweet lark sing', 'Be still, Nightingale' and 'The Parting Glass'.


Bríd O'Riordan

Joining Orpheus and Torcán that evening will be a young West-Cork soprano, Bríd O'Riordan, making her debut in North Cork with a number of all-time favourites like 'Nella Fantasia', 'I dreamed a dream', 'Danny Boy' and Eva Cassidy's daring and jazzy version of 'Over the Rainbow'.  

Number 17. Tuesday, 13th October, 2015

In memoriam David Anglesey 
(7th. July, 1943 – 13th. October, 2015)

David Anglesey in 2010 during Choir Practice
[photo: Hans van den Bos]
The Orpheus Choir's first Honorary Member, David Anglesey, died today at the age of just seventy-two. In remembrance of him, Hans has made up a special video with his photo and a recording of David singing in a concert in 2008.

David's powerful tenor voice was legendary in these parts, where he sang in many concerts and shows and was also in great demand as a wedding singer. I feel honoured and privileged to have been his vocal coach from 2006 up to the time back in 2012, when his illness made singing  impossible for him.  Joining the choir in 2008, he became its most avid fan and supporter and, despite increasing difficulty with mobility, continued to attend choir practices almost every week, because he loved it so much and also, as he confided to me privately, to show an example to the other members of just how worthwhile he felt the choir was. 

'Lord God of Abraham' from 'Elijah' is a truly apt tribute to honour this brave and lovable man, not only because it was one of his favorite arias (“the choir should sing more Mendelssohn, it is so good for the voice”, he often used to say), but also because, in a private concert at his home in September, 2011, with great fortitude and courage despite his many ailments, he stood up and sang it for the last time. We who were there will never forget it, nor the gentle-man himself either.

Hilary Reynolds

David Anglesey sings:

> Lord God of Abraham <

From the Oratorio ''Elijah''
by
F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy


Number 16. Friday, 5th June, 2015

Support Andrew Thomson, performing with a star-studded cast at this Gala Charity Concert in Rochestown Park Hotel next Friday


Number 15. Wednesday, 7th May, 2015

Guests of Honour!

The Orpheus Choir are to be joined by three highly-talented guest performers in its 10th. Anniversary Opera Gala Concert in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral on Saturday, 16th. May, 8pm. A stunning mezzo-soprano, Carolyn Holt, who is coming down especially from Dublin for this performance, the Scottish baritone, Andrew Thomson, a rising star in Cork and environs, and a wonderful young pianist, Criostóir Ó Loingsigh, who was heralded Young Musician of the Year in 2014.

Carolyn Holt - mezzo-soprano
Carolyn Holt, who is currently a fourth year student on the BA in Music Performance (Vocal Studies) at the RIAM, studying under Mary Brennan and Andrew Synnott, has won a scholarship to study for an MA in Vocal Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London, starting September 2015. She has performed a number of operatic roles with the RIAM and with the Opera Theatre Company and she toured Germany with the ‘Schleswig–Holstein Chorakademie’ in 2013 and the ‘Lubeck Chorakademie’ in 2014. Carolyn was awarded the Geraldine McGee Bursary at this year's Irene Sandford competition in the RIAM and was the winner of the P.J. Geoghegan Memorial Cup & Gus Smith Award and a finalist in the Gervase Elwes Memorial Cup, John McCormack Bursary and Dramatic Cup at this year's ESB Feis Ceoil. She has previously won many prizes at the Feis Ceoil and other music festivals around Ireland including the Mezzo-Soprano Solo, and the Ladies Solo and Overall Solo Winner at the Kilcoole Music Festival.

Andrew Thomson - baritone
Andrew Thomson, who has already been invited as a guest singer by The Orpheus Choir several times, made his highly successful professional concert debut on the 4th. April, 2014, to a packed house in the Village Arts Centre in Kilworth, Co. Cork. Since then, he has been invited to sing a number of times in Cork City and environs, notably in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, in St. George's, Mitchelstown, at the opening of the North Cork Classical Music concert series and in the newly-opened arts centre in Watergrasshill, the First Fruits Arts Centre. In June he will be singing in another Gala Concert in Cork with a star-studded cast including Geraldine O'Grady, Oonagh Keogh and Regina Nathan.

Criostóir Ó Loingsigh - piano
Criostóir Ó Loingsigh made his début as both pianist and composer at the age of fifteen in Siamsa Tíre, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland. He graduated from the Cork School of Music (CSM) in 2014 with First Class Honours as ‘Student of the Year’, having been awarded the ‘Highest-Placed Degree Student’ in his year on three occassions. He was the 2014 winner of both the CSM Piano Accompaniment Competition and Advanced Recital Competition (receiving second prize in 2012). He competed in the Bernard Curtis Memorial Perpetual Cup in Feis Maitiú Corcaigh in the years 2011, 2014 and 2015, each year winning first prize and subsequently qualifying for and winning the overall Prizewinner’s Perpetual Piano Trophy. In November 2014, Criostóir performed in the RDS Concert Hall as part of the RDS Rising Stars Recital Series and was also awarded a Licentiate Diploma in piano performance from Trinity College London. As a composer, Criostóir has a particular interest in choral and vocal writing which helps him combine his passions for both the Irish language and music, and has had works performed in Féile na Bealtaine, Dingle and the Cork International Choral Festival. Criostóir currently works as a piano teacher, accompanist and Irish teacher while continuing his studies in piano with Mary Beattie and Gabriela Mayer as well as composition with Séamas de Barra and organ with James Taylor.

Honoured with such top-flight guests, The Orpheus Choir's Gala Concert promises to be a truly festive and unforgettable celebration of its 10th. Anniversary!

Number 14. Sunday, 26th April, 2015

Orpheus goes to town !

The Orpheus Choir is really 'going to town' with two major events in its calendar year, both in Cork City.
This week, on Saturday, 2nd. May, it will be competing in the National Open Competi-tion for Mixed Choirs in the Cork International Choral Festival and two weeks later, on 16th. May, 8pm, it will be holding an Opera Gala Concert in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral to celebrate its 10th. Anniversary. 
This concert is also a fundraiser for Médecins sans Frontières / Doctors without Borders, a charity that The Orpheus Choir champions.

The programme features many of the most well-known and well-loved opera favourites, such as 'The Chorus of Hebrew Slaves', 'The Soldiers' Chorus' and 'The Flower Duet' as well as several scenes from Bizet's 'Carmen', including the 'Habanera' and 'The Toreador Song'. The choir will be joined by two very special guest singers, a stunning mezzo-soprano, Carolyn Holt, coming from Dublin especially for this performance, and a rising star in Cork and environs, the Scottish baritone, Andrew Thomson.
With this Gala Concert The Orpheus Choir hopes not only to raise funds for Médecins sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders, but also help to raise awareness of the magnificent work done by this organisation: those courageous people, who, every day, put their lives at risk providing emergency medical care wherever the need is greatest, whether it be in the heart of a war zone or treating highly dangerous outbreaks of the horrendous Ebola disease.

To hear and support The Orpheus Choir at the Cork International Choral Festival, please come to the City Hall in Cork on the morning of Saturday, 2nd. May, for the National Open Competitions. If you cannot make the morning, there is another opportunity to hear them in the afternoon, when they will be performing in the Atrium of the Clarion Hotel on Lapp's Quay, Cork City. 

For the Gala Concert in St. Fin Barre's, tickets: €15,- (Students €12,-, children free) are now available from St. Fin Barre's Cathedral Shop or at the door on the night. For reservations and all enquiries, please contact Hilary Reynolds: 087-7924105.

Number 13. Saturday, 7th March, 2015


Favourite Folk & Famous Opera Choruses

On Saturday, 21st. March, 2015, The Orpheus Choir will be visiting the First Fruits Arts Centre in Watergrasshill, Co. Cork for the first time to sing a fund-raising concert for the new centre, entitled: 'Favourite Folk & Famous Opera Choruses'.

The First Fruit Arts Centre, Watergrasshill
The First Fruits Arts Centre, a project presented by the Watergrasshill Community Association, is a new, multi-purpose, 150+ seating arts centre located in the former Church of Ireland on the southern edge of the village. The modern theatre, built within the walls of the church, has been tastefully designed to recognise its architectural heritage, but the new section at the rear houses all the necessary modern facilities, including a cosy café. The proceeds of our concert will go to the Arts Centre to assist their fundraising efforts.
The programme will feature well-known and well-loved folksongs like 'She moved through the fair', 'The Sailor and young Nancy' and 'Loch Lomond', but also famous opera choruses like the 'Chorus of Hebrew Slaves', 'The Soldiers' Chorus' from 'Faust' and 'The Flower Duet' from 'Lakmé', sung by the ladies of the choir.
Andrew Thomson, the Scottish baritone, who sang with the choir in their very successful concert in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork City in November of last year, will be joining them again as a special guest for the evening to intersperse the choral music with a variety of songs and opera arias. The 'Grand Finale' at the end of this highly enjoyable evening of gorgeous melodies, high drama and fun, will be the show-stopper of all time: the 'Toréador's Song' from 'Carmen'!


Tickets: €15,- are available @ 086 0802631 (Barry) or in the First Fruits Arts Centre, Watergrasshill at the door on the night.

Number 12. Saturday, 3rd January, 2015

A very Happy, Healthy and Musical New Year to all of you following The Orpheus Choir – Co. Cork!

This is The Orpheus Choir's tenth anniversary year and we are looking forward to it being a bumper year for the choir and, of course, for all its followers, now more than 150 of you!

First of all, we are delighted to welcome two new members into the choir – a soprano and a tenor – and hope that they will soon feel right at home with the rest of the gang! A former member of the altos, we are also delighted to say, is returning to the fold after a while abroad. Consequently, the ranks are now very nicely balanced with a total of nine sopranos, six altos, five tenors and nine basses!
St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork City
That is not to say that we no longer wish to recruit new members to the choir! On the contrary, new blood is always welcome (or rather, new voices!) and absolutely necessary to feed and revitalise any club. However, let us never forget, that 'The club' still prides itself on retaining members, who are also celebrating their tenth anniversary, or very nearly, with the choir this year and their loyalty and commitment to the choir has helped to make it what it is today.

There are two concerts booked for the spring season. The first one in the First Fruits Arts Centre in Watergrasshill, Co. Cork on Saturday, 21st. March and the second, our 10th. Anniversary Opera Gala Concert in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork City on Saturday, 16th. May. Both concerts will feature quite a collection of famous arias and choruses from operas, some even semi-staged!, in collaboration with a young rising star in the Cork area, the baritone, Andrew Thomson, and the excellent pianist, Thomas Doyle. In St. Fin Barre's, we will also be joined by a female singer, who will perform the ever-popular 'Habanera' from 'Carmen' together with the choir.

The First Fruits Arts Centre, a project presented by the Watergrasshill Community Association, is a new, multi-purpose, 150+ seating arts centre located in the former Church of Ireland on the southern edge of the village. The modern theatre, built within the walls of the church, has been tastefully designed to recognise its architectural heritage, but the new section at the rear houses all the necessary modern facilities, including a cosy café. The proceeds of our concert will go to the Arts Centre to assist their fundraising efforts.

First Fruits Art Centre, Watergrasshill
With our Gala Concert in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, however, we hope to raise not only funds for, but also awareness of the magnificent work done by a charity that The Orpheus Choir champions: Médecins sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders, those courageous people, who, every day, put their lives at risk providing emergency medical care wherever the need is greatest, whether it be in a warzone or an outbreak of the horrendous Ebola disease. A representative from their Dublin office will be giving an address to introduce the proceedings on May 16th.

But before that concert, we shall be attending the Cork International Choral Festival again this year, entering the National Open Competition for Mixed Choirs and singing in the hub of 'choral sociability', the Atrium of the Clarion Hotel, on Saturday, 2nd. May, 2015. 

Hilary Reynolds - musical director