Derry choir Codetta to set off on Mexican tour this Easter
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Under the direction of conductor and musical director Dónal Doherty, Codetta will be performing concerts in Tequila and Guadalajara in the country’s Jalisco province at the invite of the La Fundación Beckmann, with which Codetta has established a relationship in recent years.
The Beckmann Foundation was created in 1998 with the objective of improving the quality of life of the population of Tequila through elevating the academic, artistic and cultural education of its children and young people, and it has forged links with Codetta through the choir’s regular collaborations with celebrated Mexican tenor and honorary Derry man Benito Rodriguez.
At Sunday past’s free recital, Codetta performed a selection of the repertoire for the trip. Originally slated to take place over Easter in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the tour’s postponement that year.
On Tuesday 11 April, Codetta will give an invitation concert of Holy Week, Easter and Irish works at the Centro Cultural Juan Beckmann Gallardo in Tequila, at which it will perform ‘Media vita’ and ‘Eirí na gréine’ by Michael McGlynn; ‘Miserere’ by Gregorio Allegri; ‘Tristis est anima mea’ by Francis Poulenc; ‘Ave verum corpus’ and ‘Haec dies’ by William Byrd; ‘Exsultate, jubilate’ by Karl Jenkins; ‘Oh, Danny boy’, arranged by Andrej Makor; ‘The parting glass’, arranged by Desmond Earley; and the classic Mexican song ‘Bésame mucho’ by Consuelo Velázquez, arranged by Derry composer Michael Doherty. Soloists for the concert will be Codetta members Maeve Byrne, John Fox, Kevin Healy, Ciarán Kelly, Helen O’Hare, Aaron Slattery and Rachel Tierney, with Maria Cutliffe on bodhrán and Niamh McGowan on violin accompanying.
The following day, Wednesday 12 April, the choir will travel to Guadalajara to perform Maurice Duruflé’s ‘Requiem’ alongside members of Tequila’s Coro de la Fundación Beckmann in the magnificent surroundings of La Catedral Metropolitana de Guadalajara, the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady, with soloists Helen O’Hare and Ciarán Kelly, accompanied by Felipe Adrián Rojero on organ and Yalissa Cruz on cello. The choir will also be reprising a selection of the Holy Week and Easter repertoire from the previous evening’s concert.
Speaking ahead of the tour, Dónal Doherty said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been invited to perform in the beautiful settings of the cultural centre in Tequila and the cathedral in Guadalajara as part of our trip to Mexico.
“The relationship between Codetta, the City of Derry International Choir Festival and the Beckmann Foundation in Mexico is very significant in terms of the choral education programme that is being developed in Tequila and Guadalajara.
“We will present a mixed programme of music in Tequila, with favourites such as 'The parting glass' and 'Oh, Danny boy' being performed alongside music for the season of Easter and the popular Mexican song 'Bésame mucho' in a wonderful arrangement by Michael Doherty. We will then be joined by some local singers for our performance of the Duruflé Requiem.
“Codetta is greatly indebted to Benito Rodriguez and Laura Sheerin for their invaluable help and support in making this tour happen. We travel as proud ambassadors of the City of Song, continuing to promote the global reputation of the City of Derry International Choir Festival.”
Codetta was formed in 2000. Since then, it has earned a reputation for choral excellence, competed in choral festivals across Europe and given many concerts both nationally and internationally, including performances in the United States, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland. Past highlights include two Prom performances in the Royal Albert Hall in London, Last Night of the Proms in Belfast and as the special guest choir for BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2015, which was broadcast live to an audience in excess of eight million viewers.