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David Corr, Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020

David Corr, Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020

David Corr, Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020

A film of the night live opera returned to Belfast after lockdown will be launched this weekend.

The 40-minute film will be played on Northern Ireland Opera's YouTube channel on Sunday at 8pm.

Audience member Julian Maitland said: "It was so nice to hear live music again - it recharged my musical batteries."

Five singers competed in the Festival of Voice in front of an expert jury and a live, socially distanced audience in First Church Belfast to win the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and become the Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020. There was also a prize chosen by votes from the audience.

This year is the first time the competition was filmed. Hosted by Northern Ireland Opera's patron, Sean Rafferty, it features behind-the-scenes footage of rehearsals, interviews with the singers and the pianists and highlights of the competition itself.

The film, while focusing on the young opera talents who are competing, also recorded the way in which music organisations have had to adapt to the current circumstances. The audience were masked and socially distanced, but they were present for the first time since before lockdown.

David Corr, from Dublin, was the winner of the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and is the Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020 and Andrew Irwin, from Co Fermanagh, won the audience prize.

Belfast Telegraph