Thousands to attend Titanic events
Thousands of people are attending Titanic commemoration events in Northern Ireland on the centenary of the liner's sinking.
The vessel struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage on April 14 1912, with the loss of around 1,500 lives. It was built in Belfast's Harland and Wolff shipyard.
A Requiem for the Lost Souls will be held at Belfast's Church of Ireland Cathedral while a commemoration in music and film at the Waterfront Hall will feature well-known performers such as Katie Melua.
Robert Ballard, the oceanographer who discovered RMS Titanic in its watery grave, will be in Belfast to deliver a memorial lecture.
It follows Friday night's open air performance in Belfast before 16,000 revellers at MTV's Titanic Sounds concert featuring dancehall artist Sean Paul among others.
Saturday's commemoration at the Belfast Waterfront Hall is to be shown live on the big screen in the grounds of Belfast City Hall and screened on BBC Two. Bryan Ferry and Grammy award-winning soul singer Joss Stone are among the line-up for the event to mark the centenary of the Titanic's sinking.
It will also feature performances by Nicola Benedetti, Charlie Siem, the Ulster Orchestra, Alfie Boe, Katie Melua, Mica Paris, Maverick Sabre and the Irish Harp Orchestra, with award-winning broadcaster John Humphrys hosting the event.
The show will include readings by Northern Ireland actors Bronagh Gallagher, Colin Morgan and Ian McElhinney. Other contributors include Belfast-born actor Kenneth Branagh, Imelda Staunton and Simon Callow who will be reading accounts written at the time of the disaster.
There will also be the world premiere performance of Titanic Drums, an original composition by John Anderson, whose grandfather died following a fall from the liner while it was under construction, featuring 100 traditional drummers from across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It will also include a massed choir, soloist Peter Corry and six times world champion drummer Mark Wilson.
The Requiem for the Lost Souls of the Titanic - a specially commissioned work by Belfast composer Philip Hammond - will be staged in St Anne's Cathedral Belfast. The choral sections of the requiem will be sung by the Belfast Philharmonic Society, the largest choral society in Northern Ireland. It will be joined by three other choral groups - the Irish choir Anuna, the Schola Cantorum of St Peter's Cathedral and Cappella Caeciliana, a chamber choir based in Belfast. Belfast-born mezzo soprano Jacqueline Horner will be performing. All acts are accompanied by the Downshire Brass Band from Belfast.