Celebrating Longford through choral music

Lassus Choir and Noel Monahan to put on spectacular performance

Jessica Thompson

Reporter:

Jessica Thompson

Email:

jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Celebrating Longford through choral music

Dr Ite O'Donovan, who will direct the choir.

There's nothing quite like the big, full sound of a choir and St Mel's Cathedral will be alive with choral music and poetry for a very special event on September 16.

Lassus, Ireland's newest fully-professional chamber choir, directed by Dr Ite O'Donovan will present a unique evening of music, poetry and readings that has been devised, in collaboration with local poet Noel Monahan, to celebrate significant historic events and locations in Longford.

“Because it's a collaboration with a local poet, the whole dimension of the concert will change,” Dr Ite O'Donovan explained to the Longford Leader.

“Everything will be integrated and there will be a continuous flow.

“All the music has been chosen specifically to work well with the poetry by Noel Monahan.”

The concert will bring the audience on a moving, enthralling journey, celebrating historic Longford with music and poetry that connects with Saints Island and St Mel's Cathedral.

“The poetry and music will be connected,” said Dr O'Donovan.

“I've read what Noel gave me and we've come up with a 90-minute, four-part structure.

“The music will range from quite early Renaissance to more modern pieces and the choir will move around the Cathedral - it won't be static - so we'll be keeping it interesting.”

The whole performance will be integrated movement from beginning to end with a constant flow, so the concert won't be interrupted by clapping in between pieces of music.

But that doesn't mean there won't be audience participation.

“People become a part of a concert like this,” said Dr O'Donovan.

“It's like being involved. You're participating by listening. It's like being in the middle of a play because the choir is all around you.”

And, to conclude the performance, the entire audience will be invited to join in the final hymn: 'St Francis: All Creatures of our God and King'.

The performance will include such Noel Monahan poems as 'Cathedral', 'Lough Ree Islands', 'Saints Island, Lough Ree' and 'The Red Abbey', among others.

And the beautiful acoustics of the Cathedral will greatly enhance the music of Bruckner, Lassis, Palestrina and Byrd, among other choral composers both old and new.

The Cathedral's organ will be played by Simon Harden, who will perform a number of organ solos throughout the night.

This promises to be an enriching experience, integrating all aspects of St Mel's Cathedral while celebrating the beauty of Longford and its historical locations.

For more information and updates on Lassus, visit www.dublinchoralfoundation.ie.