Cork city will be hitting a high note this coming May Bank Holiday weekend, when the streets will come alive to the sounds of the Cork International Choral Festival, running from April 26 to April 30, along with the return of the much-loved Cobh Fringe Festival.
Everyone is invited to get involved and participate in the various workshops, events and performances on offer.
Cork International Choral Festival is the oldest festival in Cork and one of Europe’s most prestigious choral events. Organisers and volunteers are gearing up to welcome back thousands of singers from over Ireland, Europe and beyond, and tens of thousands of visitors for the internationally renowned festival, now in its 68th year.
This year’s festival is expected to welcome the largest international attendance since pre-pandemic times with upwards of 5,000 performers from across the world.
Choirs will participate in gala performances, national and international trophy competitions, fringe concerts, workshops, and free public performances in more than 90 venues throughout Cork city and county.
The fun event, which is always a favourite for the people of Cork, also spills onto the streets, cafés, restaurants and bars of the city, which gives a fantastic atmosphere for the long weekend. This year the Cobh Fringe will also return, with a new performance on Spike Island.
A highlight of Cork International Choral Festival is always the stunning venues that the performances take place in, including Cork City Hall, St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Emmet Place, Triskel Christchurch, MTU Cork College of Music, North Cathedral, The Goldie Chapel at Nano Nagle Place and the Freemason’s Hall on Tuckey Street to name just a few.
One event not to miss is the annual Big Sing, which returns on Saturday, April 29, to Cork City Hall, one of the most attractive and acoustically superb venues in Ireland. During this fun participative public event, singers of all ages and levels of experience are invited along to be part of the largest choir of the festival, ensuring that everybody is given the opportunity to exercise their vocal chords.
No preparation is necessary as music and lyrics will be handed out on the day.
Other exciting events during the festival itself will include the hotly contested annual Aloys Fleischmann International Trophy competition, which offers audiences the opportunity to hear some of the world’s top amateur choir’s competing for one of Europe’s most prestigious choral prizes.
Audiences will also enjoy Irish Youth Choir and Cork Children’s Choir which will see 300 primary school children take to the stage for the Opening Gala Concert on Wednesday, April 26.
Acclaimed conductor Bernie Sherlock will conduct the first half leading the best young singers from across Ireland. Artistic Director Peter Stobart will conduct a choir of young local voices in the second half.
St. Finbarre’s Cathedral will reverberate beautifully to the sounds of Chamber Choir Ireland with guest conductor Sofi Jeannin who will give the premier performance of the winning composition of the 2023 Seán Ó Riada composition competition which is titled Draíocht na Farraige and by Mayo born composer Laura Heneghan.
Festival Director Peter Stobart, said, “it’s going to be an incredible week. Some people have been attending the festival their whole lives and we look forward to surprising at this year’s event with new and unique performances and venues.
The much-loved Fringe Choral Festival is back this year in historic Cobh. Exciting venues include the majestic St Colman’s Cathedral, the Sirius Art Centre, Spike Island and a Choral Trail which includes Cobh Band Stand, Cobh Heritage Centre, and the Commodore Hotel with a different choir performing every half hour on April 29 and 30, from 1pm to 4pm.
For Festival Tickets and more information see www.corkchoral.ie.