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Declan O’Rourke, opera choruses at The Helix, ABBA night in Cork & other RTÉ CO updates

8 January 2014
RTÉ Concert Orchestra

Declan O’Rourke joins the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for a special Valentine’s night concert (14 February, National Concert Hall), the orchestra teams up with the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir for an evening of favourite opera choruses and arias at the Helix, the popular ABBA concert travels to Cork Opera House as well as the NCH.

Please find below these additions to the RTÉ CO January–March line-up, as well programme details for Lesley Garrett (18 January, NCH) and a piano soloist for Essential Classics (27 February, NCH).

Lesley Garrett with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Robert Houlihan conductor
Part of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra Signature Series 2014
Saturday 18 January, 8pm
National Concert Hall

One of the world’s most radiant, charismatic singers joins the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for a gorgeous selection of popular and classical music.

Described as everything from ‘a singing whirlwind’ to ‘the Geri Halliwell of opera’, Garrett’s talents know no bounds. She has fronted countless TV shows including Lesley Garrett…Tonight and The Lesley Garrett Show, appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, conquered the West End, toured almost every continent, released 13 solo albums, won a Gramophone Award and a CBE New Year’s Honours List for Services to Music.

Her previous concerts with the RTÉ CO have brought packed houses to their feet and this evening promises to be no exception. A suitable opening to the RTÉ CO Signature Series 2014.

Mozart La Clemenza di Tito Overture
Handel Let the Bright Seraphim
Dvořák Slavonic Dance in C major
Schubert Serenade
Dvořák Song to the Moon
Lehár Gold and Silver Waltz
Lehár Why Did You Kiss My Heart Awake
Zeller Don’t Be Cross
Lehár Czardas
Rodgers arr. Kelehan My Fair Lady selection                
Folk songs Once I Had a Sweetheart, Bold Grenadier and All Around My Hat
Rodgers Carousel Waltz
Rodgers & Hart Lover
Arlen Over the Rainbow
Rodgers & Hammerstein I Could Have Danced All Night
Wright/Forrest And This is My Beloved

Tickets: €15–€49.50 (conc. €13.50–€44.50)
Booking: 01 417 0000, or

Hollywood Rhapsody
RTÉ Concert Orchestra
John Wilson conductor
Matthew Ford and Venera Gimadieva vocalists 
Thursday 30 January, 8pm
National Concert Hall

 ‘the orchestral medley of Tom and Jerry cartoon soundtracks…made a thrilling ride. Wow!’ – The Financial Times

 John Wilson makes his eagerly anticipated début as Principal Conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

Hollywood Rhapsody is a celebration of instrumental Hollywood film scores that we haven’t heard enough of, and a clever medley of theme songs from otherwise non-musical movies. This programme was a huge hit when the John Wilson Orchestra performed it at the 2013 BBC Proms and now Wilson and the RTÉ CO present it in Dublin for the first time.

 The 20th Century Fox Fanfare provides a swaggering opening to an evening packed with amazing music from Robin Hood, Casablanca, Ben-Hur, Psycho, Citizen Kane and more, not least an exhilarating Tom and Jerry medley that raised the roof of the Royal Albert Hall.

 With guest vocalists Matthew Ford and Venera Gimadieva. 

 Tickets: €19.50–€39.50 (conc. €17.50–€35.50)
Booking: 01 417 0000, or

 Opera’s Greatest Choruses
RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir
Featuring mezzo Sharon Carty and guest soprano and baritone TBC
Neil Thomson conductor
Friday 7 February, 8pm
Mahony Hall, The Helix

In this magnificent feast for aficionados and first-timers alike, some of the world’s most famous and powerful opera choruses are brought to life. Over 150 musicians and singers from the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir fill the stage and balcony and are joined by world-class soloists including young Irish star mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty.

Popular favourites like March of the Toreadors and Habanera from Carmen, the Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor and the Te Deum from Tosca, with orchestral showpieces like the rousing William Tell Overture and the gorgeous Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana added for good measure.

Tonight, from the balconies to the mezzanine, the Helix auditorium resonates with strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, three great solo voices and the rich textures of the impressive RTÉ Philharmonic Choir.

Rossini William Tell Overture
Bizet Prelude & Aragonaise, Intermezzo, Seguidilla from Carmen Suite No.1
Bizet Habanera from Carmen
Bizet March of the Toreadors from Carmen
Mussorgsky (arr. Rimsky-Korsakov) Night on Bald Mountain
Mussorgsky Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov
Borodin Polovstsian Dances from Prince Igor
Mascagni Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana
Mascagni Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana
Tchaikovsky Cossack Dance from Mazeppa
Tchaikovsky Entracte & Waltz Scene with Chorus from Eugene Onegin
Puccini Te Deum from Tosca

 Tickets: €11‒€38 (telephone and internet bookings subject to €2 service charge per ticket; bookings made in person at the box office subject to €1 service charge per ticket)
20% Group Discount available for groups of 4 or more
Concessions available
Booking: 01 700 7000 or

Declan O’Rourke & the RTÉ Concert Orchestra Valentine’s Concert
David Brophy conductor
Friday 14February, 8pm
National Concert Hall

Following their sold-out concert together in 2012, Declan O’Rourke is back with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for a very special Valentine’s Night. One of the finest Irish singer-songwriters of our time, Declan O’Rourke has been described by Hot Press Magazine as ‘a sorcerer of songs’. His song Galileo has been recorded by everyone from Josh Groban to Jacqui Dankworth and his latest album Mag Pai Zai has earned him phenomenal reviews.

Tickets: €15–€45 (conc. €13–€41)
Booking: 01 417 0000, or

Essential Classics
RTÉ Concert Orchestra
John Wilson conductor
Leon McCawley piano
Thursday 27 February, 8pm
National Concert Hall

 Join the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and conductor John Wilson for a journey through some of the best – and best-loved – classical music of the past 150 years.  Featuring Rachmaninov’s powerfully romantic 2nd Piano Concerto, known from its use in Brief Encounter, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, used in Platoon, Stravinsky’s scintillating Firebird Suite, Rossini’s William Tell Overture and more.


Rossini William Tell Overture
Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2
Lehár Gold and Silver Waltz
Barber Adagio for Strings
Stravinsky The Firebird Suite (1919 version)

Tickets: €11–€38 (conc. €10–€35)
Booking: 01 417 0000, or

Super Troupers – The Music of Benny & Björn
RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Celebration Singers
Andy O’Callaghan conductor
Cork Opera House, Tuesday 4 March, 8pm
National Concert Hall, Wednesday 5 March, 8pm

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Andy O’Callaghan and Celebration Singers have been responsible for some of the rowdiest nights in the National Concert Hall in recent times, we are proud to say. This spring, we’re bringing back the ABBA concert that packed out the NCH last time around.

The insanely catchy music of Benny and Björn, in great arrangements by Andy, performed in style by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and a team of superb male and female vocalists, will once again have the audience singing along and dancing in the aisles.

Booking Information

Cork Opera House: Tickets: €26, €30 (booking fee may apply)
Booking: 021 427 0022 or

National Concert Hall: Tickets: €11–€38 (conc. €10–€35)
Booking: 01 417 0000, or


John Scofield & Vince Mendoza with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra & Big Band
As part of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra Signature Series 2014
Wednesday 12 March, 8pm
National Concert Hall

 John Scofield and Vince Mendoza’s Grammy-winning 54 project is performed for the first time in Ireland.

Scofield’s guitar work has influenced jazz since the late 1970s. Possessor of a very distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, he is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, funk-edged jazz, and R&B.

One of the most versatile and prolific composer–arranger–conductors of the last two decades, multi-Grammy Award winner Vince Mendoza has written arrangements for everyone from Joni Mitchell to Björk.

Through this collaboration, drama is heightened, beauty is clarified and passions aroused without losing the fresh and personal expression that jazz is known for.

Tickets: €20–€45 (€18–€40.50)
Booking: 01 417 0000, or


That’s Entertainment! A Tribute to MGM Film Musicals
RTÉ Concert Orchestra
John Wilson conductor
Matthew Ford & Anna-Jane Casey vocalists
Wednesday 19 March, 8pm
National Concert Hall

What began as a labour of love for John Wilson has become a remarkable achievement – the tireless and faithful reconstruction of MGM film scores that had been destroyed in 1969.

 The result is a spirited collection of the songs and instrumentals popularized in such beloved MGM film musicals as Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, Meet Me in St Louis, An American in Paris, High Society, Easter Parade, Brigadoon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Girl Crazy and The New Moon.

 Your chance to watch this impressive legacy of restoration and preservation brought to life by the man himself John Wilson with BBC Proms stars Matthew Ford and Anna-Jane Casey. Now That’s Entertainment!

Tickets: €15–€40 (conc. €13–€36)
Booking: 01 417 0000, or


Hayley Westenra with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra
As part of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra Signature Series 2014
Friday 28 March, 8pm
National Concert Hall

 Superstar Hayley Westenra is known for the striking beauty and purity of her voice. She was signed to Universal at the age of 14 and her first album, Pure, became the fastest-selling international début album in the history of the UK classical charts. Subsequent albums proved that early success was no fluke – to date, she has sold over four million albums worldwide. A recent album, Paradiso, took her status to a new level, when she recorded in Rome with legendary film composer Ennio Morricone and his orchestra.

Now, after a string of previous sold-out dates with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, she returns with a sublime collection of old and new.  

Tickets: €15–€49.50 (conc. €13–€47)
Booking: 01 417 0000, or