Mendelssohn on Elijah: “I imagined Elijah as a real prophet through and through, of the kind we could really do with today: Strong, zealous and, yes, even bad-tempered, angry and brooding—in contrast to the riff-raff, whether of the court or the people, and indeed in contrast to almost the whole world—and yet borne aloft as if on angels’ wings.”.
How about this for a taster of Elijah before our Spring Concert on April 9th in the National Concert Hall
We are excited to celebrate Christmas with what will be a truly wonderful night at the National Concert Hall featuring special guest soprano Cara O’Sullivan on Monday Dec 5th at 8pm.
Also joining us for our jam-packed programme of seasonal music will be the Dublin Concert Band conducted by Fergus O’Carroll, the women and girls of the award-winning Cantairí Óga Átha Cliath, and our own David O’Shea, organist and pianist. Our compère for the evening is the celebrated broadcaster Olivia O’Leary.
Amidst a bounty of familiar seasonal favourites, old and new, our highlight will be the first performance in Ireland of On Christmas Night, a beautiful Christmas cantata by the English composer Bob Chilcott. Written in 2011 for choir, chamber ensemble and organ, it’s based on a delightful sequence of eight carols and offers a charming celebration of the Christmas story.
Other highlights include the Christmas music from Handel’s Messiah, and sing-along Christmas carols and songs.
So snap up a ticket and join in our Christmas cheer!
What a wonderful night we had singing on Culture Night 16th September 2016! The venue for the performance was the magnificent neo-classical ballroom in the 18th century Powerscourt Townhouse, perfect for a concert.
Led by our award winning conductor Bernie Sherlock, and accompanied by Donal Dignam, we sang an amusing, moving and rousing programme of works, including witty songs and sonnets by William Shakespeare set to music with jazz influences by George Shearer, Irish airs including Oft in the Stilly Night, and Down by the Salley Gardens arranged by the late Edgar Deale, a longtime member of the choir, and the rousing Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah, all of which were received enthusiastically by the large audience in the ballroom. The programme was so successful we were asked to repeat to allow those queuing outside to come in and hear it.
We are very grateful to Mary Larkin of Powerscourt Townhouse for her work with our President, George McLellan, in organising the event.
So it’s the 9th of May, the day after the night before … and oh what a night it was!
We have been working solidly for the past number of months in preparation for singing the Irish premiere of Roxanna Panufnik’s Westminster Mass. To say that this work presented a myriad of challenges is an understatement: it’s modern, it’s fast, it’s slow, it’s sometimes a capella, it’s dissonant but most importantly it’s truly magnificent.
Panufnik joined us and gave a great interview before we sang the work, you could sense the energy in the Concert Hall – from the first chime of the tubular bells in the Kyrie right through to the resounding Lamb of God, we really gave it our all. The standing ovation for Roxanna (and us!) reflected the triumph that this work is.
Premiering Panufnik was an honour – singing a work so modern and pairing it with Mozart pushed our comfort zones, stretched our limits and elevated our singing to an entirely new place. It was a magical night. We cannot wait to present our next programme … watch this space!
Come along to this not-to-be-missed Irish premiere.
Panufnik’s radiant and much-loved Westminster Mass was a 1998 commission for London’s Westminster Cathedral Choir to celebrate the 75th birthday of the late Cardinal Hume. His response upon hearing the music was to tell Panufnik – then still 29 years old – that she “pierced the clouds” between the congregation and God.
“Its combination of brilliance, charm and what you might call the ‘common touch’ bridged many of the boundaries that separate new music from a wider audience.” (Critic, Michael White).
“The Westminster Mass is extremely beautiful… here was something unarguably spiritual, something which forced you to take the entire proceedings seriously… passing dissonances resolve into consonant harmonies that break through like a shaft of light before they are resolved again…” (Tempo Magazine).
We are delighted to announce that in a few short weeks, we sing Handel’s Messiah!
Messiah is a favourite of the Culwick and, by popular demand, we perform it once again in Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral at 8pm on Saturday March 19th next.
This year, we are joined by a wonderful array of young talented soloists – soprano Maria McGrann, alto Gina Oberoi, we welcome the return of tenor Andrew Gavin and Eoghan Desmond will sing bass on the night. The Culwick ensemble is led by Brona Fitzgerald and our award-winning conductor Bernie Sherlock will steer us through the Christ tale from start to finish.
Tickets are €20 and are available on the door, from any choir member or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org