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Elgar’s ‘Sea Pictures’ comes to Westport

Going Out

FAMILIAR FACE Mezzo-Soprano Anne Marie Gibbons will sing in Holy Trinity next Sunday afternoon.

Classical music lovers are in for a treat this Sunday, May 5, when the fundraising ‘Sea Pictures’ concert takes place in Holy Trinity Church. This musical extravaganza includes performances from Anne Marie Gibbons; Diva Voces choir conducted by Duncan Brickenden and John Dexter. It will include the renowned ‘Sea Pictures’ song cycle by British composer Sir Edward Elgar. Monies raised from the concert will go towards the renovation of the historical 1882 Telford Organ in Holy Trinity Church.
 
Elgar’s ‘Sea Pictures’
‘Sea Pictures’ is a song cycle written in the late 1800s by composer Edward Elgar. It consists of five songs written by various poets and was set for contralto and orchestra, though a distinct version for piano was often performed by Elgar. The five songs are Sea Slumber Song by Roden Noel, In Haven (Capri) by Caroline Alice Elgar (the composer’s wife), Sabbath Morning at Sea by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Where Corals Lie by Richard Garnett and The Swimmer by Adam Lindsay Gordon. On this occasion ‘Sea Pictures’ will be performed by contralto solo, violin, cello and piano.
 
Anne Marie Gibbons
Louisburgh native mezzo-soprano Anne Marie Gibbons never fails to enchant audiences with her outstanding voice. She studied psychology at University College Dublin and the University of London, and singing at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and the Royal Northern College of Music. She made her Royal Opera debut in 2015, singing Leocadia Begbick (Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny). She has since returned to sing Camila (The Exterminating Angel) and Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte). Gibbons’s many concert performances include Mozart’s Requiem in Madrid, the St Matthew Passion for the Lausanne Festival, David for Versailles Handel Festival, Siegrune and Gutrune (Der Ring des Nibelungen) at Birmingham Symphony Hall, Anna (Maria Stuarda) at Cadogan Hall, Flora (La Traviata) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Das Paradies und die Peri, Les Nuits d’été and Lola (Cavalleria Rusticana) with RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Her recordings include Zulma (Elvida) and Abra (Il diluvio universal) for Opera Rara.
 
Diva Voces and Duncan Brickenden
Multi award-wining Dublin based female voice choir Diva Voces was formed in 2006 and has grown to a 60-voice four-part choir. Their aim is to increase musicianship while having great fun. Under the baton of their musical director Duncan Brickenden, Diva Voces recently achieved first place in two competitions at the 2018 Limerick Choral Festival – Best Community Choir and Best Gospel Choir.
Duncan Brickenden is a vastly experienced musician and musical director having establishing himself as a leading vocal coach and choir director on the London scene. He is currently also director of music for the RDS Jazz Singers, The Brook Singers and 95-member strong choir, Dublin City Choral Union.
 
Patrick Early
Violinist Patrick Early is an active session musician and music collaborator who has worked with many young musicians developing a music education programme. Recently Patrick joined forces with Westport Town Hall Theatre to produce ‘The Octagon Ensemble’, a Westport-based string orchestra.
 
John Dexter and Patrick Dexter
John Dexter was for many years Organist and Master of the Choristers in St Patrick’s Cathedral and is capable of extracting magical music from the old Holy Trinity Church organ even in its ailing state. He was Organ Scholar in Jesus College, Oxford, and at St Paul’s Cathedral London, studying orchestral conducting with the late Norman Del Mar in the Royal College of Music. John is now Conductor of the Goethe Choir, Co-Director of Dublin County Choir, Organist in Whitechurch Church and lectures in harmony, counterpoint and conducting techniques in Trinity College Dublin. John’s son, cellist Patrick Dexter, lives in Newport and plays regularly with Patrick Early.
 
Richard Hughes
Emerging amateur pianist and composer Richard Hughes is from Westport but currently based in Dublin. His body of work mainly consists of works for solo piano and string quartets. He is a member of the Irish Composers Collective. Richard will perform a piano solo.
 
Holy Trinity Church
Funds raised by this concert will go towards the ongoing restoration of 150 year-old Holy Trinity Church which is of significant architectural importance. Extensive restoration works began in 2013 and are now in the third phase. The first two phases involved work on the roof including restoring or replacing cast iron downpipes, and guttering as well as works on the buttresses and chimneys. The current phase involves works on the windows including restoration of the wonderful stained glass windows.
These restoration works are extremely costly and could not be carried out without the support of the public and the help of public bodies. Restoration Committee member Stevie Brickenden said: “Holy Trinity Church would like to thank Mayo County Council for all their help through the Built Heritage Investment Scheme. We would also like to thank Áine Doyle and Chris Southgate for putting together a practical Conservation Management Plan and the Heritage Council for their help towards the cost of this Plan. We look forward to working with Richard McLoughlin from Lotts Architecture and Michael McHale from Build Smart as we go forward with the restoration of this beautiful building”.
 
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Tickets for ‘Sea Pictures’ cost €20 and are available from Steve Brickenden 087 6961329. The concert takes place on Sunday, May 5, at 3.30pm and is in aid of the ongoing restoration of Holy Trinity Church.