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Entertainment and the Arts : Music : Mayo Male Voice Choir Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

Choral Workshop by Hugh Francis
By Eamonn Horkan
13, Nov 2009 - 14:51

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Australian Tenor Hugh Francis
will conduct a Choral Workshop
for Mayo Male Voice Choir
- supported by Mayo Arts Council.

Open to all interested Singers

and Choral Choirs in Mayo,

Hugh Francis the renowned Australian Tenor
from the new Mayo Vocal Academy
will conduct the Choral workshop,

This Workshop is supported

by Mayo Arts Council

and will take place at the

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology,

Old Westport Road, Castlebar,

on Tuesday 17th November

at 7-45 pm. Sharp.

It is important that all intending participants contact us in advance as places are limited and will be allocated on a first come basis.

All attending should be in their place prior to start of workshop

Doors will close prior to 8-00pm.

For information and notice of attendance,

Contact Eamonn Horkan, P.R.O  MMVC.

Tel. –094-9026214, or M- 0876683043.


Australian born Hugh Francis is married to mezzo-soprano Anne Marie Gibbons, a native of Louisburgh, they first met on stage in a production of a Mezzo-soprano Anne Marie was a student at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester at the time and Hugh, a former student of the college and professional tenor, was drafted in to sing the lead role in the Tchaikovsky opera, 'The Queen of Spades'.

 Seven years on, they are returning to Anne Marie's roots in Mayo to set up the “Mayo Vocal Academy”, where they plan to tutor singers of every age in both Castlebar and Westport, offering both one-to-one and group lessons.

Anne Marie and Hugh may have travelled the world with their voices, but a move to the West has been on the cards for quite some time. "This is something we have always wanted to do - it's a question of giving something back to the community." explains Anne Marie, who considers herself very fortunate to have been guided through local primary and secondary schools by teachers who recognised her talent and helped her on her way.

So will the Mayo Vocal Academy focus on operatic singing? Not at all, says Anne Marie: "We are aiming to make the academy as all-encompassing as possible ­anyone can get in touch for a singing lesson, regardless of their ability and preferred musical style - trad, jazz, pop, musicals or opera.

Before deciding to set up in Mayo, Anne Marie and Hugh decided to give teaching here a trial run. "We put 'the toe in the water' as it were and started teaching on July 3 last in Castlebar. The response was great, and the level of talent was fantastic." Although excited by the success, the couple had to return to London, as they had opera commitments to fulfil - Anne Marie was booked to perform title roles in two Handel operas with The English Touring Opera, while Hugh was booked to sing in Alben Berg's opera 'Wozzeck' with the Welsh National Opera.

Anne Marie and Hugh counted down the months until they could return to Mayo, and now they're back and are really looking forward to starting up again.

For more information on on the Mayo Vocal Academy, call 0876798748 or email .

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