Conor Mitchell’s new opera for children is not without a dark side

IrelandIreland Conor Mitchell’s The Musician: A Horror Opera for Children: Soloists, The Belfast Ensemble / Tom Brady (Conductor), Livestreamed from Belfast’s Lyric Theatre as part of 2021 Belfast Children’s Festival, 12.3.2021. (RB)

Conor Mitchell’s The Musician: A Horror Opera for Children (c) Neil Harrison

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The Belfast Ensemble’s The Musician: A Horror Opera for Children streaming 12-14 March 2021


The Belfast Ensemble, in association with Young at Art, Belfast Children’s Festival present
The Musician: A Horror Opera for Children
Streaming: Friday 12 March – Sunday 14 March, 7pm

Conor Mitchell’s darkly comic children’s opera retells a familiar story: ‘who was the Pied Piper? and ‘Why did the rats all dance to his tune?’ This world premiere from the award-winning Belfast Ensemble (click here) brings opera home to Northern Ireland. Musically extraordinary, this cautionary tale explores themes of nature, nurture and just desserts!

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Stephen Doughty Tells Robert Beattie About the Work of the Belfast Philharmonic Choir

Stephen Doughty conducts the Belfast Philharmonic Choir (c) Linda Salem

The Belfast Philharmonic Choir is Northern Ireland’s only symphonic choir.  I went to listen to them perform in St Anne’s Cathedral a few months ago and was impressed with the quality of the singing and the range of their repertoire. The repertoire of the choir is exceptionally varied and includes key works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Bruckner. The Phil also champion new works and in 2015 they performed the world premiere of James Whitbourn’s The Seven Heavens which was written especially to commemorate the choir’s 140th anniversary.

They will be performing Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Ulster Orchestra on 7 June.  I spoke to their Chorus Master Stephen Doughty about preparations for the performance and about the work of the choir more generally.

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