The Classical Sounds Of Summer at Down Arts Centre


Down Arts Centre’s Summer Season launches with two offerings of light classical  music on Thursday 20 and Thursday 27 June at 1.05pm.

[caption id="attachment_39668" align="alignleft" width="150"]Soprano Catherine Harper. Soprano Catherine Harper.[/caption]

Thursday 20 June sees a Lunchtime Recital intriguingly called   “A Midsummer Medley of Songs, Arias and Operatic Chat.”

This Recital will be given by Catherine Harper ( soprano), Donald Maxwell (baritone) and Elizabeth Bicker (piano).

Catherine Harper has sung for Opera Northern Ireland, Opera Theatre Company Dublin and Buxton Festival Opera. She performs regularly in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. Catherine is a member of the newly-formed Irish singing sensation the Celtic Divas who recently opened the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York, where the live audience numbered over 200,000.

Donald Maxwell appears regularly with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera and Opera North. He has also appeared at the Edinburgh, Wexford, Chester and Buxton Festivals.

[caption id="attachment_39670" align="alignright" width="92"]Donald Maxwell Donald Maxwell[/caption]

Elizabeth Bicker’s career in music has been varied and always challenging. After four years’ study at the Royal Academy of Music London, she first became known as an accompanist, working with professional and amateur musicians, and with a special interest in mentoring our talented young musicians. Professional engagements have taken her to all regions of the British Isles as both accompanist and adjudicator and she has broadcast on BBC and RTE television and radio.

On Thursday 27 June the Recital focus is  closer to home, with “Songs of the Glens and a little bit of Opera”. The pianist once again is Elizabeth Bicker.

Mezzo-soprano Debra Stuart   has just confirmed that she will be joined by very special guest tenor Eugene O’Hagan, one of The Priests. As an operatic soloist, Debra has appeared throughout the UK, Ireland and abroad, singing at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, English Touring Opera ,Opera Theatre Company, and abroad for the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Opera Zuid in the Netherlands, Singapore Lyric Opera, and the National Theatre in Prague, performing such roles as Rosina, Hermia, Hansel and Carmen.

[caption id="attachment_39671" align="alignleft" width="200"]Debra Stewart Mezzo Soprana Debra Stuart[/caption]

Debra has also recently recorded her first solo CD of Scottish and Irish songs entitled ‘Where The Heart Is’ which she has just released.

Eugene O’Hagan and The Priests shot to fame in December 2008, when they also scooped the Guinness World Record for ‘Fastest-selling UK Debut for a Classical Act’

These Summer Recitals of accessible, popular and light classical music will therefore celebrate local song and local musicians, and they are produced and presented by Downe Independent Promotions. Each Recital last 55 minutes – ideal for a lunchtime break with a difference.

For further information, and to make a booking, please contact the:

Down Arts Centre Box Office on 028 4461 0747.

Tickets are £12 / £10 concession.