ST FIN BARRE’s Cathedral will this weekend host a night of Italian culture and music entitled “When the Cathedrals Spoke Italian”, with admission free.
The evening will take place this Friday, May 26, beginning at 6.15pm sharp with Choral Evensong featuring music by Italian composers and performances from the Cathedral Choir, led by conductor Peter Stobart and organist Matthew Breen.
The choir will perform two canticles by Palestrina, while Matthew Breen will play a voluntary by Frescobaldi.
This will be followed at 7pm by a presentation in Italian about the cathedral and its mosaic artwork fresco, which was created by Italian artisans, and this presentation will include more music by Italian composers.
St Fin Barre’s Cathedral was commissioned by the Church of Ireland in 1863, 160 years ago, becoming the first cathedral built on these islands since London’s St Paul’s.
The designs of architect William Burges were declared the winner of the competition, even though Burges disregarded the £15,000 budget, producing a design that he estimated would cost twice that.
The foundation stone was laid on January 12, 1865 and the unfinished cathedral was consecrated in 1870 by Bishop John Gregg. The spires topped out in 1879, although minor work continued on the cathedral for many years afterward.
Of note to lovers of Italy is the mosaic floor to the front of the altar of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral. The work of craftsmen from Udine in the north-east of Italy, using marble from the Pyrenees, the mosaic represents a vision of heaven as described by St Matthew, who is believed to have said “the kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea and gathered of every kind”.
Admission to “When the Cathedrals Spoke Italian” is free. For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.