Spark Opera, based in Belfast used, £9980 of National Lottery Funding to produce a new, one hour work called “Requiem for the Disappeared”, featuring the internationally renowned soprano Rebecca Caine, 26-piece professional orchestra, the South Ulster Community Band’s brass section and Spark Opera’s chorus. The project not only presented a new work of classical music by a local composer, it also connected to a non-traditional classical music audience and connected to a specific group of victims, the families of the Disappeared, from the Northern Irish Troubles.
The piece was composed by Conor Mitchell, after hearing the often untold stories associated with the disappearance and murder of many men and women during the Troubles in Northern Ireland whose bodies have never been discovered.
“Requiem for the Disappeared” was performed by a combination of professional instrumentalists and excellent young amateurs to a very high standard, was recorded for archive, and was well received publicly. Significantly, the work was also understood in its proper context – the subtle local artwork, careful copy writing and close association with the WAVE trauma centre ensuring no misinterpretation of Spark Opera’s intentions.
The piece was performed in St Anne’s Cathedral as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival on May 3rd, 2012 to a diverse audience of approximately 300 people, including around 20 family members of the Disappeared.
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