Soprano Cara O’Sullivan will make her return to the Midlands when she opens the weekend’s proceedings on Friday 4 May
There will be arias in the air and strings in the streets once more when Birr Festival of Music and Voice returns for its second outing this May Bank Holiday weekend, Friday 4th - Monday 7th May.
After a thrilling debut last year, another brimming weekend of classical music beckons for the beautiful Georgian town in Offaly. This year’s programme includes something for music lovers of all ages. Ireland’s acclaimed international soprano Cara O’Sullivan will make her return to the Midlands when she opens the weekend’s proceedings on Friday 4 May.
One of Ireland’s most successful musicians, pianist Finghin Collins performs a programme of great solos on Saturday. He will be joined by principal clarinettist with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, John Finucane for some exciting duets.
A highlight of the weekend is undoubtedly The Trench Award Gala Concert on the Sunday. Established in 2014, this Award for a young emerging professional singer/musician from the Midland region, is now one of the most valuable bursaries of the year, amounting in total to €7,000 in bursary prizes.
An exciting new addition to the Trench Award this year is the Caproni Acadamy Prize. It includes an eight day residency in Tuscany, Italy, together with a small gathering of international young singers, with vocal coaching, mentoring, performance opportunities, all under the guidance of Bruno Caproni and Julian Evans, who enthralled audiences with their performance at the festival last year.
Birr Young Voices, the town’s newest children’s choir, will give an afternoon concert on Monday, together with other Midlands musicians. In partnership with Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath, the choir is now a year round project, adding new members each season. To date, 76 children have participated.
Pic: Pianist Finghin Collins is set to perform a programme of great solos on Saturday, May 5
Speaking ahead of the event, Festival Director Maureen de Forge said: "Holding this feast of classical music on the May Bank Holiday makes Birr a wonderful place to be for an early summer break. In addition to the listed events you are likely to stumble on short lunchtime concerts, hear classical music in shops and cafes, meet violins, flutes, sopranos and baritones holding forth on the streets!”
Tickets go on general sale on Tuesday 20 March 2018. For the full programme & to book tickets, www.birrtheatre.com Box Office (057) 91 22911