Cul­lagh sings for so­ci­ety’s 80th sea­son

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Sean O’Rior­dan

Mu­sic lovers are in for a treat when Cork Or­ches­tral So­ci­ety opens its 80th sea­son with a gala con­cert fea­tur­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed so­prano, Ma­jella Cul­lagh.

She will ap­pear with Denise Crow­ley and Gabriela Mayer (pianos), David Whitla (dou­ble bass), and Viv John­ston (trum­pet and pic­colo trum­pet) for the gala con­cert on Septem­ber 27 at the Cork School of Mu­sic.

Founded by Aloys Fleis­chmann in 1938, Cork Or­ches­tral So­ci­ety has spent 80 years con­tin­u­ing his legacy by pro­vid­ing some of the finest live per­for­mances to ever take place on Lee­side.

The open­ing gala con­cert prom­ises to be a spe­cial treat for both sea­soned con­cert­go­ers and new­com­ers.

One of the main fea­tures of the pro­gramme is an aria from Rossini’s Ade­laide di Bor­gogna. Ms Cul­lagh sang the role of Ade­laide in the premiere of the opera in Usher Hall, Ed­in­burgh, in 2005, when her per­for­mance was praised by The

Guardian as “the com­bi­na­tion of thrilling aban­don, per­fect con­trol and dra­matic ex­ac­ti­tude”.

Cul­lagh will also fea­ture in songs for so­prano and pi­ano by Rey­naldo Hahn, vir­tu­osic com­poser of the so-called melodies, French art songs, of­ten based on ro­man­tic po­etry of the late 19th and early 20th cen­tury. The evening will also fea­ture a se­ries of po­ems by Kather­ine Gekker, set to mu­sic by US com­poser Eric Ewazen.

The gala pro­gramme in­cludes mod­ern in­stru­men­tal pieces: Sa­muel Bar­ber’s Sou­venirs, suite for pi­ano four hands; Kadenza by Teppo Hauta-Aho, one of the most prom­i­nent jazz and clas­si­cal dou­ble bassists in Fin­land; and Cro­quis, sketches for bass and pi­ano by French pi­anist Serge Lan­cen.

“I’m very ex­cited to work with the other soloists on ensem­ble pieces for dou­ble bass and trum­pet. I’ve cho­sen some Rey­naldo Hahn songs for my pro­gramme as they are gor­geous pieces and I’ve al­ways wanted to sing them. I’ve added an ex­trav­a­gant Rossini aria from Ade­laide di Bor­gogna to fin­ish with a flour­ish,” said Ms Cul­lagh.

The 80th sea­son of Cork Or­ches­tral So­ci­ety has many more gems in store. Among the sea­son’s high­lights is a pi­ano recital by Hugh Tin­ney on Novem­ber 1, fea­tur­ing time­less mas­ter­pieces by Beethoven, Chopin, and Schu­bert, as well as mod­ern com­po­si­tions by Ian Wil­son and Thomas Adès.

On Novem­ber 16, the Irish Cham­ber Or­ches­tra will make a much an­tic­i­pated re­turn to Cork to per­form Puc­cini, Stamitz, and Tchaikovsky un­der the ba­ton of their prin­ci­pal con­duc­tor, Jörg Wid­mann.

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Ma­jella Cul­lagh: Set for gala con­cert out­ing.

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