Chamber Choir Ireland: Two Stories (Dublin/Belfast) featuring the world premiere of a work by Stephen McNeff

11 November 2023 19:30 - 12 November 2023 20:00

A dramatic evening of oratorios old and new, by Giacomo Carissimi and CMC Composer Stephen McNeff.

Giacomo Carissimi first developed the oratorio as a way to bring bible stories to life. These vivid musical dramatisations came to resemble unstaged operas—every bit as dramatic, and far easier to share with audiences.

Carissimi's Jephte (c. 1650) tells the story of Jephtha who, in exchange for victory in battle, vows to God that he will sacrifice the first thing he meets upon his return home—unknowingly sacrificing his only daughter.

In the world premiere of a brand new commission, CMC composer Stephen McNeff uses this same oratorio form to tell the story of Dives and Lazarus. This 'parable in 16 voices' tells the story of Dives denying Lazarus food and drink. He sends servants to whip Lazarus, but they cannot. He sends dogs to bite him, but they instead "lick his sores away." When both men die, angels carry Lazarus to heaven, and serpents drag Dives to hell.

Hear these dramatic parables unfold in an evening of choral storytelling with Ireland's national chamber choir.

Dives and Lazarus: A Parable for 16 Voices was commissioned by Chamber Choir Ireland with funding from the Arts Council/an Chomhairle Ealaíon, with additional support from the PRS Foundation.

Chamber Choir Ireland receives principal funding from the Arts Council/ an Chomhairle Ealaíon, and support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through its National Lottery fund.


Giacomo Carissimi (Italy, 1605-1674)—Jephte
Stephen McNeff (Northern Ireland, b. 1951)—Dives and Lazarus *World Premiere*
Ralph Vaughan Williams (England, 1872-1958)—Dives and Lazarus

Dates, Tickets & Venues

11 November, 19.30 | The Whyte Recital Hall, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin | Ticket Link

12 November, 20.00 | St Thomas' Parish Church, Belfast, BT9 6DW | Ticket Link