Christmas Concert – St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin
3rd December 2017
St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin was the venue for our Christmas Concert on the 3rd December 2017. We had a great night singing in celebration of Christmas.
Benjamin Britten’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ was the centrepiece, surrounded by three gorgeous versions of ‘The Coventry Carol’, the first from the 15th century and then the more contemporary arrangements by Thomas Leighton (1929-1988) and Bob Chilcott (b. 1955)
The concert was a sell-out, not least because our special guest was Eleanor McEvoy. Eleanor, one of Ireland’s leading songwriters, performed a number of pieces including from her recent album ‘The Thomas Moore Project’.
Eleanor was in great voice and finished with a stirring rendition of her famous song ‘A Woman’s Heart’ to huge acclaim.
The evening closed with everybody joining in singing some of the much loved and well-known Christmas carols.
Saturday 27th May 2017
Haydn – The Seasons
Soloists : Haydn’s The Seasons
RACHEL CROASH : Soprano
Rachel is a graduate of Maynooth University and recently completed the Master in Music Performance Degree at The Royal Irish Academy of Music.
She has performed in recital for Opera Theatre Company, Wexford Festival Opera, The Contemporary Music Centre, Lismore Opera Festival, Opera Ireland and most recently with pianist Nadene Fiorentini with a programme entitled ‘Love, Loss and Friendship’ which featured Lieder by Clara Schumann and Brahms.
Oratorio engagements include Mozart’s Requiem and Vaughan Williams’ A Serenade to Music at The National Concert Hall with the RIAM, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle with The Culwick Choral Society and her Alma Mater, Maynooth University, and Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore and Bach’sCantata BWV 4 at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh.
She has performed in concert for The Drogheda International Classical Music Series, Glasnevin Musical Society, conducted by Colman Pearce, Lyric Opera Productions in ‘Puccini by Candlelight’, conducted by John Gibbons, and made her debut with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christopher Bell. Rachel has also had the privilege of performing at the Metropolitan Club, New York, with Pianist Finghin Collins, for the Irish-US Council and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Operatic roles for the RIAM included Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring), Parasha (Mavra), Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen) and Woman (Greed). Other roles include Gorm (Flatpack, Ulysses Theatre Company), Narrator (The Oldest Woman in Limerick, Wide Open Opera), Ein Frau/Jenny’s girl (The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny for Rough Magic/Opera Theatre Company), Annina (La Traviata, Wexford Festival Opera), Frasquita (Carmen, RTÉ Concert Orchestra) and Valencienne (The Merry Widow, Lyric Opera Productions).
Rachel was a multiple prize winner at the Feis Ceoil, she was a recipient of the John McCormack Society Bursary and has also been a finalist in the NCH Bernadette Greevy Vocal Bursary. Rachel is an Opera Theatre Company HUB Artist and was recently awarded the Wexford Festival Opera & PwC Emerging Artist Bursary 2015.
Upcoming engagements include the closing concert of the Music in Great Irish Houses Festival, in which she will premiere a new setting of Padraig Pearse’s The Mother by Sebastian Adams and the role of Mrs Coyle in Britten’s Owen Wingrave, with Opera Collective Ireland.
ANDREW BOUSHELL : Tenor
Andrew Boushell completed an opera performance diploma at the Operastudio Vlaanderen, Belgium supported by the Arts Council of Ireland. He is also a graduate of the Royal College Music, where his postgraduate studies were supported by the Douglas and Hilda Simmonds Award, and is an honours graduate of the BMus course at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin. He continues his studies with Rosa Mannion. He has participated in masterclasses with Ann Murray, Sir Thomas Allen and Graham Johnson, and has given recitals in Ireland, the UK, Belgium and the United States.
Andrew’s varied oratorio repertoire includes works by Puccini, Handel, Purcell, Gounod, Bruckner, Bach and Britten. Recent highlights have included Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in Dublin, Webber’s Divine Compassion and Bach’s St John Passion in Kent, Handel’s Messiah with the Staatskapelle Halle, at Handel-Halle in Germany, Haydn’s Creation in Belfast and Ramirez’s Misa Criolla for the I.E.C 2012 at the RDS in Dublin.
Operatic experience includes the role of The Young Collector in Opera Ireland’s Irish premiere of Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Older Brother in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, the role of Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte in a joint production between the DIT and Opera Ireland and a national tour of Ireland performing the title role in Mozart’s Bastien and Bastienne as a member of Opera Theatre Company’s Young Associate Artist Programme.
Other engagements have included the cover of Sellem in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress for British Youth Opera, King Oebalus in Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus for the Rose Opera Company and Testo in Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda at Operastudio Vlaanderen. Recently Andrew covered the role of First Elder in Handel’s Susanna for Iford Arts Festival with the Early Opera Company conducted by Christian Curnyn, and performed the role of Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte for Rye Arts Festival. Recent engagements have included a recital in St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh, the role of Toby Higgins in Kurt Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny for Opera Theatre Company and Bach’s Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland in Belfast.
Andrew last sang with us in our performance of Handel’s Messiah in St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford, in March 2016.
SIMON BAILEY : Bass
Simon Bailey was born in Lincoln and read music at Clare College, Cambridge, and at the Royal Northern College of Music, and he subsequently studied at the La Scala Academy, Milan. In August 2002 he joined the ensemble of Opera Frankfurt as a company principal.
Simon’s exceptional vocal range has enabled him to perform a rich variety of roles across the bass and baritone repertoire, including Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Schaunard in La Boheme and Mustafa in L’italiana in Algeri. Having created the role of Viceprocuratore in Corgi’s Tat’jana at La Scala, he was also heard there as Alessio in La Sonnambula, and Barone di Kelbar in Un Giorno di Regno during the Verdi centenary. He subsequently sang the title role in Handel’s Hercules at the Athens Festival, to critical and public acclaim. Simon was then invited by Luigi Alva to Lima, Peru, to debut Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor. Further guest engagements have included appearances in Lille, Glyndebourne, La Scala, Vienna, Antwerp, Moscow, and London.
As a company principal at Oper Frankfurt, Simon has appeared in many productions including Die Zauberflote, L’elisir d’amore, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Parsifal, Lulu, La Damnation de Faust, and Billy Budd, and he played the title role in Don Giovanni.
Simon’s interests also lie in recital and oratorio work, where appearances include Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, Haydn’s Creation in Lima Cathedral, Missa Solemnis for Tampere Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem in Bordeaux and Manchester, and Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall and in Oslo. His discography includes Mozart’s Requiem, Turandot for Chandos Opera in English, Rossini’s Bianca e Falliero for Opera Rara, and Stainer’s Crucifixion for Naxos.
Other engagements have included Les Contes d’Hoffmann for Theater Basel and Cenerentola, Murder in the Cathedral and Don Giovanni for Oper Frankfurt.
Simon last sang with the Guinness Choir in Haydn’s The Creation in October 2014.
The Guinness Choir performed Haydn’s The Seasons in the RDS, Dublin on Saturday 27th May 2017.