Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

All shipshape for a Titanic night of musical magic

Katherine Jenkins and Phil Coulter at Titanic slipway last night

The follow-up to the global phenomenon Riverdance will splash out in Belfast tonight.

The new music and dance spectacular, Heartbeat of Home, is to get its official world premiere in Dublin next month.

But the thousands who are attending the annual Proms in the Park event this evening have been promised a sneak preview in the shadow of Titanic Belfast.

Proms organisers said the exclusive snippet from the show is "an extra special treat".

Meanwhile the main stars of the event – superstar soprano Katherine Jenkins and Londonderry troubador Phil Coulter – were given a sneak preview of their own last night, a visit to the venue on the slipways of the city's top visitor attraction.

It is the second time the iconic location has been used for the Belfast event, which feeds into national coverage of the Proms on BBC television. And Belfast Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir said the showcase should help bring more visitors to the city.

"The council is committed to supporting major events that promote the city in a positive light to a wide audience," he said.

"Due to its location on the slipways, the Proms provides us with the specific opportunity to display the city's Titanic connections and hopefully encourage more visitors to come, but it also allows us to show the rich musical heritage of the city.

"It promises to be a magnificent occasion with a feast of great music in store for both those attending the concert and those watching at home."

Apart from acclaimed mezzo soprano Jenkins and the legendary singer/songwriter Coulter, the line-up also includes Lithuanian accordion player Martynas – who recently topped the Classical Music Album Chart – and violinist Chloe Hanslip.

Tonight also clocks up a 'buskers' dozen' – the 12th year of the huge gathering in Northern Ireland with the Ulster Orchestra again leading the event – under the baton of David Brophy – and hosts Noel Thompson and Claire McCollum.

BBC Northern Ireland director Peter Johnston said: "This event is one of the most prestigious and large-scale events we undertake each year and music lovers can be assured of a very special evening of music and celebration from an eclectic line-up of local and international talent – all set against the stunning backdrop of the Titanic Belfast building."

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