THE Cork International Choral Festival will return to Leeside in May with a packed programme featuring a plethora of world class performances in more than 80 venues across the city and county.
The festival, which will run from May 1 to May 5, promises to provide the pitch-perfect prelude to the summer with a host of exciting free and ticketed events.
Now in its 59th year, the festival is regarded as one of the top Irish events of its kind, drawing visitors to Cork from all over Ireland and abroad.
The Festival line-up will incorporate top Irish and international choirs, blending them with world renowned international artists, a dash of diverse global vocal traditions and cultures in a melting pot of thrilling competitions, sumptuous gala concerts, and lively events.
The opening gala concert on May 1, which will take place in the City Hall, will feature an exciting line-up including the Fleishman Choir, the Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra and the Band of the First Southern Brigade.
Another festival highlight will be a performance by Swedish vocalists the Real Group at the Opera House on May 3.
That same night the National Chamber Choir will perform in St Fin Barre's Cathedral with one of the UK's most versatile cappella groups, The Songmen, set to raise the rood at the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne.
Amateur choirs will compete for the prestigious Fleishmann International Trophy at the City Hall on May 4, with a host on international choirs coming together at the same venue the following night for the closing gala concert.
The jam-packed festival will also incorporate numerous formal fringe concerts along with a diverse informal choral trail that will bring then music and passion of the event on to the streets.
For more information about festival events, venues and ticket prices visit the dedicated website at www.corkchoral.ie.