The world-renowned Cork International Choral Festival returns this week, bringing together a wealth of musical talent from across the globe.
The festival, now in its 68th year, is set to be one of the highlights of the musical calendar, with over 5,000 participants hailing from all over Europe as well as Israel and Canada.
The festival will run through the bank holiday weekend to Sunday and will include gala choir performances, national and international trophy competitions, fringe concerts, workshops, and free public performances in over 90 venues throughout Cork.
This year’s festival highlights include The Big Sing in Cork City Hall at 12.15pm on Saturday, where singers of all ages and levels of experience are invited along to be part of the largest choir of the festival.
Performances on Emmet Place in the city center will strike a note with shoppers as 13 choirs give individual performances on Saturday from 10.40am to 2.40pm.
The Gesualdo Six, an award-winning British vocal ensemble comprising some of the UK’s finest consort singers, directed by Owain Park, will perform in the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne on Thursday at 7.30pm.
Jaakko Mäntyjärvi and Chamber Choir cc Freia (Finland) will perform music about or inspired by light on Friday evening in St Fin Barre's Cathedral while the Aloys Fleischmann International Trophy competition will give audiences the opportunity to hear some of the world’s top amateur choir’s competing for one of Europe’s most prestigious choral prizes.
The much-loved Fringe Choral Festival takes place in the scenic Cobh this weekend where people can follow the Choral Trail to Cobh Band Stand, Cobh Heritage Centre, or head to the Commodore Hotel where a different choir will perform every half hour on Saturday and Sunday.
The Closing Gala Concert will take place at Cork City Hall on Sunday evening.
The festival's Artistic Director, Peter Stobart, said: "We're thrilled to be able to bring together so many talented musicians from all over the world for this year's festival.
“We're confident that audiences will be blown away by the performances they'll see and hear over the coming days."
For more information on the festival's program and to purchase tickets, visit corkchoral.ie.