News

Covid-19 emergency

Due to government restrictions introduced in the wake of the Covid-19 emergency and in order to safeguard the health of our members and of our music director, all choir rehearsals have been suspended for the foreseeable future.

As we previously announced, the Early Music concert which was due to take place today (March 22) in Trinity College was cancelled – we hope to reschedule this concert for a later date when circumstances permit.  The next scheduled concert for the choir is on May 3 in the National Concert Hall in Dublin – details here.   However, given the length of time that measures to combat the virus are likely to be in place, it is uncertain whether this event will be able to go ahead or not.  More specific information about the concert will be published on the website when it becomes available.

In the meantime, we hope that all choir members and supporters stay safe and healthy and we look forward to rehearsing together and performing in public again soon.

Concert on 22 March cancelled

The Goethe Choir’s planned concert to celebrate European Early Music Day, which was due to take place on 22nd March in Trinity College Dublin, has unfortunately had to be cancelled due to government restrictions introduced to combat the ongoing Covid-19 emergency.  We are hoping to be able to reschedule this concert at a future date when conditions permit and will publish information on the website when it becomes available.

This is disappointing for all concerned but the choir is fully committed to taking all necessary actions to help limit or delay the spread of the virus in Ireland.  In this regard, all choir rehearsals have also been cancelled for the foreseeable future and will not resume until it is safe to do so.  We will continue to monitor the situation with regard to our planned Beethoven celebration concert in the National Concert Hall in Dublin, which is scheduled for May 3rd, and will release more information when we have it.

New choir archive available

For those who are interested in past performances of the Goethe Choir, an archive listing of concerts given by the choir since its foundation, together with a listing of all works performed by the choir during that time, is now available on the choir website at http://goethechoir.ie/about-us/repertoire.  This also gives an opportunity for longer-serving members of the choir to indulge in a little nostalgia, perhaps.

We owe a huge vote of thanks to Liam Shorten and Maire Owens for all the effort and time involved in collecting and collating this information,  and in getting it ready for publication.   Although perhaps they did have the compensation of  being able to relive personal memorable moments from the choir’s past in the process, of course….

 

Open rehearsal 21st January 2020

The choir will be having an open rehearsal next Tuesday evening, 21 January 2020, where non-members who have an interest in singing with the choir are invited to come along and take part in the rehearsal for the evening without any obligation to join.  The rehearsal takes place at 7.30pm in our normal venue at the Lutherhaus, 24 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2.   Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided after the rehearsal which will give the opportunity for prospective members to chat to existing choristers and to find out about the activities of the choir for the coming season.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in coming along to the open rehearsal on 21 January and singing with one of Dublin’s leading mixed choirs, please pass the information on.  Details on choir membership and on joining the choir can be found at http://goethechoir.ie/join-us.

Bach in the NCH

The choir was back in the National Concert Hall in Dublin last Monday Dec 16th for our annual Christmas concert and was delighted to perform once again to an enthusiastic sell-out audience.  The main work this year consisted of parts 2, 5 and 6 of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, along with a Christmas motet by Poulenc and a number of seasonal items.  Go to our website Gallery page if you’d like to see some photos from the evening.

Unfortunately our German-based soprano Hannah Gries, daughter of alto soloist Alison Browner, had to cry off two days before the concert due to a throat infection, but she was ably replaced by Irish soprano Elizabeth Hilliard, so many thanks to her for stepping in at such short notice.  And a special thanks to our music coordinator Werner Blau and music director John Dexter for reacting so successfully and at such short notice to what must have been an unnerving and stressful experience two days before the concert.

So having completed our performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, the question is – what will be the focus for next year’s Christmas concert?  If you have any suggestions, please feel free to let the choir know via the website suggestion box (for choir members) or via email to info@goethechoir.ie.   In the meantime, we will be back at the National Concert Hall once again on Sunday May 3rd 2020 for a performance of works by Beethoven and Bach with renowned Irish pianist John O’Conor.  Keep an eye on our website Events page for more information as it becomes available.

November memories

We’ve been trying to make contact with former Choir members who sang in the 1989 Christmas Concert in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham to celebrate and to let them know about this year’s special event. The programme from 1989 lists 59 singers; there are 10 still singing in Goethe Choir, another 15 of whom we can contact and 5 deceased. The website is a way to keep up to date on what’s happening and anyone interested is welcome to register to receive our regular newsletter by going to http://goethechoir.ie/about-us/newsletter. The newsletter mailing list will only be used for the specific purpose of sharing news about the Goethe Choir’s activities and interests. Remembering the Kilmainham concert brings to mind those who are no longer with us, in particular Dick Cooper and John Curran, two tenors who died earlier this year – may they rest in peace.

November is also the month when we make the annual trip to Glencree for the service of peace and reconciliation, this year 17/11. Last year Ambassador Potzel spoke movingly about the aftermath of war – ‘so many families, so many hopes destroyed, so many lives not lived.’ Her family experience of war, partition and reunification suggests that however bleak things look on the political front, change is possible. So while we are looking forward to Bach on 16th December, we have been practising “Freude schöne Götterfunken” and planning to perform the Beethoven Choral Fantasy with John O’Connor in the National Concert Hall on 3rd May 2020, as part of the Beethoven bicentenary celebrations.

17th November – German Remembrance Day at Glencree

On Sunday 17th of November, on German Remembrance Day, the Goethe Choir will participate in the memorial ceremony in honour of all victims of the First and Second World Wars at Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. This quiet and atmospheric location in the Wicklow Mountains is home to the war cemetery with German war victims of both Wars.

Christmas Oratorio revisited

Jauchzet, frohlocket! In the Christmas concert thirty years ago, performed in the the newly renovated Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Alison Browner was the Alto Soloist in both the Bach Magnificat and Weihnachtsoratorium Parts 1 and 2. To celebrate Christmas 2019 the Goethe Choir will perform Parts 2, 5 and 6 of the Weihnachtsoratorium in the NCH and is delighted to welcome as soloists not only Alison but also her daughter Hannah Gries, Soprano; as in 2018 Dustin Droszdiok will sing Tenor/Evangelist and the Bass will be Brendan Collins.  More details of the concert can be found on our website at http://goethechoir.ie/events.   Tickets are available from the NCH but to mark this very special occasion we are offering Choir members who sang in 1989 2 tickets for the price of 1.  (Contact info@goethechoir.ie giving your name and address or email).

A project is underway to make available on the website a list of all concerts sung by the Goethe (Institut) Choir from 1966 on and to digitise material relating to the Choir. The 2019 Christmas Concert will surely evoke memories of previous performances of the Weihnachtsoratorium and we invite you to share those memories and score markings with the wider Goethe Choir community via the website.  Go to http://goethechoir.ie/about-us/contact-us to post your comments or alternatively send an email to info@goethechoir.ie.

German Unity Day reception

German Unity Day is a national holiday in Germany commemorating the reunification, which occurred in 1990, where the former GDR (East Germany) joined the Federal Republic of Germany, following the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. This year the choir was invited by ambassador Deike Potzel to sing the German, Irish and European anthems at the annual reception in her splendid residence Danesfield. We had a great choir turnout and got two rounds of applause and lots of praise, both from ambassador Potzel and from Dublin Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe. There was a lovely outdoor party afterwards with miraculously good weather, excellent Franconian wine, Bavarian beer und Bratwurst.

Go to our website gallery page to see some photos of the members of the choir who performed at the function.

New season starts here

The choir is getting ready to kick off our new season and to hit the ground running in our first rehearsal on Tuesday evening, 3rd September.  Amongst other things, we will be preparing for our next major engagement in the National Concert Hall in Dublin on Monday, 16th December, when we will be performing our traditional Christmas concert.  This year we will be completing our 2018 performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio by singing parts 2, 5 and 6, as well as performing a number of other seasonal works and a selection of carols.   For more information go to http://goethechoir.ie/events.

We are also looking to attract new members to the choir in all voice parts, so if you know of someone who would be interested in joining a lively and diverse collection of singers in one of Dublin’s leading choirs, get in touch with us.  Details of how to do this are available at http://goethechoir.ie/join-us.