Music of Limerick’s most famous soprano to be brought to life to mark 200th anniversary

Jess Casey

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Jess Casey

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jess.casey@limerickleader.ie

Music of Limerick’s most famous soprano to be brought to life to mark 200th anniversary

THE MUSIC of Limerick’s most famous soprano will be brought to life this Thursday to mark her contribution to opera worldwide as well as the city’s cultural heritage. 

A video installation charting the life of world renowned soprano Catherine Hayes is to be displayed as part a series of events celebrating her life set to take place this Thursday. 

From November 7, those walking, running, cycling or driving between the Hunt Museum and O’Connell Street will be treated to bursts of the soprano’s music and as well as a video installation telling the story of her life. 

“We loved the idea of opera on the streets and the video installation should allow everyone to know about this Limerick icon,” Hunt Museum director Jill Cousins said. 

“While those who want to gain even greater insight into her life and legacy can see more at the exhibition in the Hunt Museum and hear her songs on November 8 at St Mary’s,” Ms Cousins added.  

Ms Hayes, who was born at 4 Patrick Street, is the reason the redevelopment of the area is known as the Opera Centre, according to David Conway, chief executive of Limerick Twenty Thirty. 

“We want the Limerick of the future to take the best from our cultural heritage,” Mr Conway said. 

“Catherine Hayes was a world renowned opera singer in her day and with the new Opera Development we are looking to build on this rich heritage and create a modern public space that incorporates new areas for performance along with the new public library, offices, retail and residential spaces.” 

November 8 marks the 200-year anniversary of the baptism of Catherine Hayes in St Mary’s Cathedral. 

To mark the bicentenary, the Hunt Museum, St Mary’s Cathedral, the City Museum, The City Gallery, Limerick Civic Trust, Creative Ireland, Limerick Twenty Thirty and Limerick City and County Council teamed up to create the Catherine Hayes experience. 

Events include an exhibition, a performance of song and opera, a lunchtime lecture and a supper in her honour. 

Archival material and paintings from Jim Noonan, Cian O’Carroll, the City Museum and Gallery and the Limerick Civic Trust used in the video installation will be physically exhibited at the Hunt Museum from November 8.   

In the evening, the Hunt Cafe will be transformed into a Catherine Hayes supper room to raise funds to support the commemoration. 

A concert, conducted by Sinead Hayes in St Mary’s Cathedral, is set to take on Thursday evening with performances by Sarah Dolan, Patrick Hyland, Collete Davis and Voices of Limerick Choir and Orchestra.  

On December 4, a lunchtime lecture from Catherine Hayes aficionado, Cian O’Carroll, is to take place in Istabraq Hall, Limerick City and County Council, Merchant’s Quay. 

Tickets for the concert and supper are available from the Hunt Museum and Dolans.ie