The best classical music to see this week

Tara Erraught leads master classes in song and opera, Sinead O’Kelly is at the National Concert Hall and Mihhail Gerts will conduct the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, February 1st

Celebrating the Voice with Tara Erraught

St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Drogheda

Dundalk mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught, soon to star in New York's Metropolitan Opera in the title role of Rossini's La Cenerentola, has curated a vocal weekend for the Drogheda Classical Music series. It's not a weekend of concerts, though there are showcase concerts on both Saturday and Sunday evenings. There are daytime vocal master classes focusing on both songs and operas, with RTÉ Lyric fm's Liz Nolan as presenter. New York-based laryngeal surgeon Paul Kwak, of the New York University Voice Center, a man who works with singers from Broadway and the Met, gives a guest lecture, and speech and language therapist Emma Wallace Ahern gives a guide to using yoga as a positive influence in balancing singing and emotion. Later in the week, Erraught teams up with the Irish Baroque Orchestra under Peter Whelan, at the National Gallery on the lunchtime (1pm) of Friday 7th, for The Trials of Tenducci, a programme that tells the story of a celebrated 18th century castrato.


Sinéad O’Kelly

National Concert Hall Kevin Barry Recital Room,

Sinéad O'Kelly's Irish National Opera debut as Ottone in Vivaldi's Griselda last October was one of the most spectacular opera debuts of recent years. The Belfast mezzo-soprano threw herself at the Venetian composer's virtuosic writing with a thrilling combination of abandon and accuracy. She was also the winner of the National Concert Hall's 2018 Bernadette Greevy Bursary Award and was due to give her winner's recital last September. That performance was postponed until February. She is partnered by pianist Dearbhla Collins for her programme of Schumann's Frauenliebe und leben plus songs by Seán Doherty, Hugo Wolf, Francis Poulenc and Benjamin Britten.

Friday, February 7th

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra/Mihhail Gerts

National Concert Hall, Dublin

There's just one work on this week's Friday evening concert from the RTÉ NSO — Bruckner's Eighth Symphony. But there are significant changes from the concert as first advertised. The original conductor, American Robert Trevino, has been replaced by Estonian Mihhail Gerts. And the 1887 version of the symphony has been dropped in favour of the 1890 version. The status of various versions of Bruckner's symphonies has long been a hot topic. And just in case you think it's always a matter of minor details (which sometimes it is), the difference in length between the 1887 and 1890 versions of the Eight Symphony is a matter of 148 bars. Rest assured, the glory of the music is not affected