The Big Sing

Saturday 2nd May, 12.15pm, Cork City Hall

The Big Sing has, since its inception in 2011, been a huge success with a year on year increase in the number of people turning out to each, making each of them the largest choirs ever to have sung at the Choral Festival! The Association of Irish Choirs (AOIC) sponsors this event that encourages group singing. Singing with others can bring people together in a unique way and provides an unbeaten feel-good factor!

This year  The Big Sing was the biggest yet thanks to all who joined us in City Hall and were part of the experience. In just 45 minutes, accomplished composer and conductor John O’ Brien tought the chorus of Vivaldi’s Gloria, which also featured in the Festival’s Opening Gala Concert, to the attending crowd, supported by some of our national choirs.  This famed choral work is performed regularly around the world, and features frequently in movies, television programmes and commercials.



JOHN O’BRIEN: Conductor

JOHN OBRIEN (big sing)John O’Brien is a conductor, director and composer based in Cork.

He was a scholarship student at the Schola Cantorum, St. Finian’s College, Mullingar. He then completed a first honours Bachelor of Music degree, followed by a Master of Arts degree in Conducting at the Cork School of Music. For many years, John also attended the Canford Summer School for Conducting with George Hurst .

Recent work includes: directing and musical direction of the acclaimed Faust – Everyman Theatre, directing and musical direction of Der Vampyr – Everyman Theatre, directing and musical direction  Kiss of the Spider Woman – Half Moon/Cork Opera House; Orpheus – Everyman Theatre; musical direction and arranging Maria de Buenos Aires – Cork Opera House; musical direction Spindle – Big House Festival; conducting, co-directing and arranging Pagliacci at the Everyman (winner Best Opera Production Irish Times Theatre Awards); directing and designing the set for the acclaimed production of Dido & Aeneas at Cork Opera House which toured across Ireland; directing the dance film Inner Landscapes, musical direction for the premieres of two modern operas Thamyrus and Time for Earthenware at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford; creating the Voice Effect choir which performed with the RTÉ Concert orchestra at the recent Steve Reich festival in Cork; and writing the music for the feature film Tree Keeper.

Other  projects include conducting and designing Sweeney Todd at the Everyman and Cork Opera House; a tour as conductor of contemporary Irish choral music with ArtLifeCulture to Pecs, Hungary and to the world EXPO in Shanghai, China; working as musical director and pianist on Side by Side by Sondheim at the Everyman; conducting West Side Story, directing and conducting Candide (both at Cork Opera House); The Magic Flute (Cork Opera House and regional tour); and completing an Irish national tour as director and pianist on The Nina in Me.