The cultural wealth of many nations will be celebrated at a unique musical event at The Lyric Theatre, Belfast next month.
Songs and music from all four corners of the world will be brought to the Lyric stage in a unique collaboration showcasing the talents of the Belfast Harmony North and Russian Rosinka Choir, based in Northern Ireland.
Together, under the musical direction of internationally acclaimed composer and musician Neil Martin, local and international musicians will join the singers to take their audience on a memorable musical journey through the music of India, Bangladesh, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Ireland and Spain.
The venture is part of the innovative Cultural Coach Programme pioneered by ArtsEkta, Northern Ireland’s leading ethnic arts organisation. Under the banner ‘Connections’ local choirs and performers have been encouraged to explore their own and others’ musical traditions exploring themes of diversity and inclusion.
Nisha Tandon, Executive Director of ArtsEkta, said: “When they take to the stage on the evening of 29 March our performers will demonstrate in the most powerful form of how musicality can unite cultures. Over recent months they have been working together on the widest possible range of genres, jamming their way through sessions involving ethnic percussion, tambura, guitar, vocals, violin, piano and the Indian sitar … all designed to help them develop and share their musical creativity and heritage. The result will be one of the most vibrant, exciting joyous concerts ever!”
Looking forward to the event, his third ‘Connections’ concert, Musical Director Neil Martin, said: “Each year we come still further on our musical journey of discovery and I feel privileged to have been able to build on the success of last year’s hugely successful World Music Showcase with some immensely talented and open-minded local singers and musicians. Together, they have created and now want to share with others, something unique and special.
“I think the performance of ‘Connections Roots’ at the Lyric will demonstrate that sentiment in powerful style and will also celebrate the vast range of cultures as well as the range of talent which we are fortunate enough to have right here in Northern Ireland.”
The programme of music and song will feature performances from the Belfast Harmony North Choirs originally formed by international pianist Barry Douglas; the Russian Rosinka Choir who perform a-cappella songs in Russian, Ukrainian, English and Belorussian and a group of international musicians united by a passion for their chosen instruments. The evening will showcase a blend of different styles culminating with a piece specially written by Neil Martin for the Connections project called ‘Tar liom, a ghrá’ – ‘Come with me, love’ It will be performed in both Irish and Russian.
The project has been principally funded by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery fund. Arts Development Officer at the Arts Council, Lizzie Devlin, welcomed the musical collaboration, saying: “Although culturally we may come from different places and even speak different languages, time and again, events like this demonstrate that the arts have the unique power to unite us all. This inspirational evening of music will bring together gifted musicians from a host of countries all coming together on one night for this very special concert.”
Tickets to ‘Connections Roots’ which will be staged at The Lyric Theatre Belfast at 7:45pm on Wednesday March 29thare free, but advance booking is essential.
The project is principally funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, with support from the Community Relations Council.