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Saturday, 21st January 2023

Incredible line-up for second series of Drogheda Classical Music’s ‘Celebrating The Voice’

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Tara Erraught, the curator of the second edition of Celebrating the Voice which takes place in St. Peter’s Church of Ireland from Thursday to Sunday next and tenor Seán Tester who is one of the participants.

Renowned mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught curates a weekend of professional development for vocal artists, including masterclasses, talks, and workshops, culminating in two concerts celebrating the glory of the voice. 

Pauline Ashwood, the Director of the Drogheda Classical Music series of concerts, says she can't believe the calibre of guests coming to Drogheda next week for the second edition of Celebrating the Voice in St. Peter’s Church of Ireland, Drogheda from Thursday, 26 to Sunday 29 January 2023. 

Celebrating the Voice, led by the internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught, is a programme of masterclasses designed to equip classical singers with the tools they need to succeed in a challenging industry. 

It is the only independent venture of its kind in Ireland and offers the opportunity for singers to learn performance skills, audition techniques, financial skills, caring for vocal health, along with industry insights and tools. The events of the weekend are open to the public. 

Following an open call for applications in November, eight singers have been selected to participate in Celebrating the Voice. 

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Anna-Helena Maclachlan (mezzo-soprano), Heather Sammon (mezzo-soprano), Seán Tester (tenor) and Maria Matthews (soprano) will take part in art song masterclasses. Catherine Donnelly (soprano), Deirdre Arratoon (mezzo-soprano), Deirdre Higgins (soprano) and Owen Lucas (tenor) will participate in the opera masterclasses. 

The singers, who are all at the start of their professional careers, will gain valuable insights into technique, interpretation, communication and performance, and learn about the importance of storytelling through song as a way of connecting with their audience. 

On Saturday evening, 28 January, participating singers will present a varied programme of songs from all over the world in a recital of art songs. The concert will also feature a performance by internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Angela Brower, whose voice has been described by the New York Times as “plush, full sound, yet also youthful brightness”. 

On Sunday evening, 29 January, Celebrating the Voice will draw to a spectacular close in an Opera Gala. This celebratory concert will feature arias which the singers have worked on in masterclasses and will include pianists Dearbhla Collins and Morgane Fauchois-Prado at two pianos, and a special performance by Tara Erraught. 

Celebrating the Voice presents a splendid panel of expert guests. Joining Tara Erraught will be: Pianist and Artistic Advisor Dearbhla Collins; opera and recital singer Angela Brower; Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, Dr Paul Kwak from New York; Morgane Fauchois-Prado, pianist and language coach; Andreas Massow, Senior Arts Manager and former casting director at Bayerische Staatsoper, Jonathan Friend, Artistic Adviser at New York’s Metropolitan Opera; Gaby Smyth, financial and tax consultant specialising in literary, music, film and theatre, and Liz Nolan, presenter and broadcaster at RTÉ lyric fm. 

Whether you are a professional singer, a member of your Iocal choir, or you simply wish to improve your voice, you are welcome to observe all sessions of Celebrating the Voice. 

Events take place in St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Drogheda unless otherwise stated. Individual Concert Tickets are €20 (€18 conc.) with a Weekend Ticket for €60.  Masterclasses and talks can be purchased in advance. Booking through Droichead Arts Centre on 041 9833946 or with further information available from 

The Series is funded by the Arts Council and Louth County Council and run in partnership with Droichead Arts Centre with sponsorship from WhitelightEvents and RTÉ Supporting the Arts.

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