Fleischmann Choir and CSM Symphony Orchestra
St. Michael's Church
Sun 25 November 2018 - 6:30 pm
€15 | €12 (concessions) | €12 & €10 (COS members) | €5 (students) | Under 18s free
The Fleischmann Choir and CSM Symphony Orchestra perform two great works for chorus and orchestra: Vaughan Williams’ early masterpiece Toward the Unknown Region; and Poulenc’s Gloria, with Mary Hegarty, the internationally celebrated, Cork-born soprano, as the featured soloist. Conor Palliser and Matthew Haddock conduct.
Vaughan Williams: Toward the Unknown Region, for chorus & orchestra
Poulenc: Gloria, FP 177, for soprano solo, chorus & orchestra
The Fleischmann Choir
Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra
Conor Palliser, Matthew Haddock Conductors
Mary Hegarty Soprano
“Toward the Unknown Region” was an important work in the output of Vaughan Williams in that it was his first major composition to draw attention from both public and critics. Stylistically, it is related to the Symphony No. 1, (“A Sea Symphony”), which also used texts by Walt Whitman, one of the composer’s favorite poets. The work premiered in 1907 and won Vaughan Williams acclaim as the foremost young composer of the day. It is romantic in style and transcendental in mood, bursting forth with remarkable and powerful joyfulness at the conclusion.
Composed in 1959, Poulenc’s Gloria, for soprano, chorus & orchestra, is one of three sacred pieces from the composer’s “mature” years. Poulenc’s own description of the second movement captures the essential nature of his approach to sacred music: “I was simply thinking, in writing it, of the Gozzoli frescoes in which the angels stick out their tongues; I was thinking also of the serious Benedictines whom I saw playing soccer one day.” This mixture of lightheartedness and spirituality has come to be one of the composer’s trademarks.
€15 (General admission) | €12 (Concessions | COS members)
€10 (COS concessionary members) | €5 (Students) | Under 18s free
Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra
The Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra [CSMSO] comprises senior part-time students of the Cork School of Music [CSM] still completing their second-level education, and some of those pursing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the CIT Cork School of Music – Ireland’s largest provider of conservatory education in music and drama. Apart from performing the standard 19th- and 20th-century literature, the CSMSO fulfils an annual commitment to accompanying the winner of the CSM’s Senior Concerto Competition, performing oratorios with the Fleischmann Choir (the CSM’s adult mixed-voice choir), commissioning and premièring new works by composers, and supporting the undergraduate Orchestration classes. The orchestra has achieved an enviable international reputation for its achievements, and provides its members (many of whom have gone on to become professionals) with a thorough and broad-spectrum training in orchestral playing.
The Fleischmann Choir
The Fleischmann Choir was founded in November 1992. Initially called the Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra Chorus, it sang in public for the first time on 22 April 1993 when it gave a concert with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in Cork’s City Hall to mark the opening of the 40th Cork International Choral Festival. The programme was of music by Aloys Fleischmann – one of the founders of the Cork International Choral Festival and its long-serving Festival Director – who had died the previous year. Shortly after this concert, with the permission of the family, the choir was renamed in memory of the man who did so much to further the cause of choral music and choral singing in Ireland. The choir was then led until 2013 by founder-conductor Dr. Geoffrey Spratt
The choir specialises in singing large-scale works for choir and orchestra. In recent years it has performed Berlioz’s Grande messe des morts [Requiem] (in both Wales and Ireland), Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances” from Prince Igor, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem & Nänie, Britten’s St Nicolas, Bruckner’s Te Deum, Angel Climent’s Missa solemne & Motet: Caro mea, Dvořák’s Mass, Fauré’s Requiem, Fleischmann’s Clare’s Dragoons & Song of the Provinces, Fleishmann Snr’s Mass in honour of St Finbarr, Grieg’s Incidental Music for Peer Gynt, Handel’s Messiah, Chandos Anthem No. 1, & Coronation Anthem: Zadok the Priest, Haydn’s Missa in tempore belle, The Seasons, & The Creation, Hummel’s Alma virgo, Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, Bryan Kelly’s Africa, Mathias’s Ave Rex, Mozart Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Poulenc’s Gloria, Puccini’s Messa a 4 voci [Messa di Gloria], Stainer’s The Crucifixion, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, Verdi’s Missa da Requiem (in both Germany and Ireland) and Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus & Gloria, as well as music by J. S. Bach, Beethoven, Bernstein, Bizet, Britten, Clucas, Donizetti, Elgar, Holst, Mascagni, Massenet, Mathias, Mozart, Parry, Puccini, Purcell, Stanford, Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams and Verdi, carols, folk-song arrangements, gospel arrangements, Negro spirituals and opera choruses. In addition the choir has accepted invitations as diverse as “Songs of Praise” for the BBC from St Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh, Co. Cork, backing Johnny Logan during the Eurovision Song Contest broadcast by RTÉ from Millstreet, Co. Cork, and singing with Niamh Kavanagh for her RTÉ Christmas Show from Cork Opera House.
The Fleischmann Choir’s 2008-2009 season included the first complete performance in Cork of Haydn’s The Seasons with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and a team of internationally renowned soloists. Last season included outstandingly successful concerts in Dachau (Germany) during a week-long visit to celebrate the centenary of Aloys Fleischmann and the work of his father (who was born in Dachau). It also featured the first performances of both Britten’s St Nicolas in Cork and of Puccini’s Messa with the CSM Symphony Orchestra in Cork and Skibbereen. The choir’s 20th season, 2011-2012, brought another first performance to Cork – that of Vaughan Williams’ magnificent Hodie – and a pair of “Proms” concerts to City Hall when popular favourites by Bach, Brahms, Fauré, Karl Jenkins, Mozart and Orff will delight another 2,000 supporters.
Soprano Mary Hegarty’s early studies at the Cork School of Music led to a place at the National Opera Studio in London and masterclasses with Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Sir Peter Pears. She represented her country at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and subsequently built an impressive career throughout Europe on the operatic stage, concert platform and in regular broadcasts with RTE and the BBC.
Since making her professional debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, under the baton of Bernard Haitink, Mary has sung principal roles with English National Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, Opera Northern Ireland, City of Birmingham Touring Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Garsington Opera, D’Oyly Carte, Reisopera, La Monnaie, Vlaamse Opera, Adelaide Festival, Opera Zuid, Athens Festival, Bilbao Opera, Opera Theatre Company, OPERA 2005, the Dublin Grand Opera Society and R&R Musical Society. Oratorio and concert appearances include the BBC Proms, many performances of Messiah, Handel’s Creation, Carmina Burana, Maritana, La Bohème (at the RTE Proms), and the Irish premieres of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio.
She has graced the stages of the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Birmingham Symphony Hall, National Concert Hall and others, with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and Concert Orchestras, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Ulster Orchestra, the Orchestre Nationale de Belgique, and the Black Dyke Mills Band.
Mary Hegarty’s recordings include her solo album A Voice is Calling, and CD recordings of Patience and Orpheus in the Underworld with the D’Oyly Carte (Sony), also Silver Tassie (ENO) and Carmen (Chandos) with Glyndebourne Opera. Mary played Gilda in Woody Allen’s movie Matchpoint and appeared in special BBC TV broadcasts and DVD recordings of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince.
Since returning to live in Cork, Mary has been a lecturer in vocal studies at the CIT Cork School of Music; her students have performed at English National Opera, Garsington Opera and the BBC Proms. One of her students featured in the final stages of BBC TV series The Voice UK – mentored by Sir Tom Jones. Mary was recently the voice and language coach for a British Youth Opera production of Riders to the Sea. She has also developed duo partnerships for recital work with Ciara Moroney and Gabriela Mayer, specialising in German and French song.
Mary was nominated for an Opera Bear Award for her portrayal of Miss Wordsworth in Opera North’s acclaimed production of Britten’s Albert Herring. She repeated the role this summer in a new production at Buxton Festival Opera. She has also cemented her status as a Cork icon with a cameo appearance alongside indie band the Frank and Walters at their sell-out anniversary concert!