Evening of opera, oratorio & festive favourites for local charity

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Helen Hancock and quartet at Armorica

A virtual evening of opera, oratorio, chamber music and festive favourites will be held in Oranmore next weekend in aid of Galway Simon Community.

The exclusive performance will be filmed from the beautiful surroundings of Armorica restaurant in Oranmore, and exclusively available to view from the comfort of your own home on 5 Saturday December at 7.30pm.

The programme, which will appeal to a broad audience, is set to feature sacred and opera music by Handel, Bach and Mozart, excerpts from Mozart string quartets KV157 and KV172 and Christmas favourites.

Helen Hancock, who organised the event, will be joined by special guest, international tenor Owen Gilhooly who is her friend, mentor and teacher.

“My last live performance was in March, at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, just before lockdown,” explained Helen.

“I am so excited to work with Owen and such accomplished musicians: rehearsing together has brought us all so much joy. We are indebted to Armorica for lending us this beautiful atmospheric space for the performance.

“During the pandemic my home has been at the heart of everything -a workplace, a school and a haven. I feel very strongly about fundraising for the Galway Simon Community who help those who have no home.

Helen is excited to work with a newly formed string quartet consisting of Sinead Hayes violin, Rozanne Botha violin, Tom Murphy viola and Adrian Ivičević cello.

Sinead Hayes is a conductor, composer and violinist now based back home in Galway. Rozanne and Tom are friends and colleagues of Helen’s at Coole Music and Arts and are well known teachers and performers in Galway and Limerick.

Adrian, a Croatian native is in his second year on the MA in Classical String Performance in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and ICO.

Speaking about the event, Amy Lavelle, Community & Youth Partnership Coordinator with Galway Simon explained how they have never been more reliant on support like this to safeguard their essential services.

“We are absolutely delighted to be the chosen beneficiary for this wonderfully festive event,” she said.

“In addition to the huge challenges of the pandemic across our Homelessness Prevention and Housing Services, our fundraising has also been significantly impacted as our much loved events and collections can’t go ahead as planned.

“We’re deeply grateful to supporters like Helen, and all those involved in this event, for continuing to find innovative ways to raise vital funds in support of those facing homelessness during these difficult times.”

Tickets for this virtual event are available at galwaysimon.ie and are priced at €10 per household.

With the option also available to purchase an additional ticket as a gift for half price. A link will be emailed to all ticket holders on Friday 5th December and the link will remain live for seven days after the event.

Tickets for the evening of opera, oratorio and festive favourites, can be purchased throughout this period to view on demand after the initial premiere.