St. Barrahane’s Church Festival of Music

St. Barrahane’s Church of Ireland


(8km from Skibbereen)

Co. Cork, P81 AH51


+353 86 226 4797 (Jacqueline Weij)

Claudia Boyle – soprano, Niall O’Sullivan – trumpet, Conor Linehan – piano

April 13, 2023

8:30 pm

Organised by Music Network

Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen, P81 KP99

(due to circumstances beyond our control we had to change the venue)

Tickets €20,
online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical Skibbereen
or text/call 086 2264797


“The enduring appeal of high brasswinds combined with voice goes back several centuries, to the days when trebles and tenors of the Venetian cori spezzatti sang alternatim against cornetts and sackbuts high from the balconies of St. Mark’s in Venice.

Led by one of Ireland’s most spectacular sopranos, April features another brand new ensemble showcasing the talents of a trio of much sought after Irish artists. Claudia Boyle has secured a stellar international profile in recent seasons through highly-acclaimed performances in Zurich, Rome, London, Berlin and New York and recently returned from making her house debut for Opéra National de Paris singing the role of Dede in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place to much acclaim.

Joining Claudia will be trumpet player extraordinaire Niall O’ Sullivan and exceptional pianist Conor Linehan.

Presenting a varied and eclectic programme, the trio will share dazzling interpretations of

Handel’s ‘Let The Bright Seraphim’,

Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in Eb,

Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate in addition to operatic favorites by

Donizetti and Verdi and music by the ever popular Piazzolla.

Music Network presents a Composer Insight Session.
Apart from organising fantastic Tours Music Network also promotes the composition of works by Irish artists. For this tour the composer Solfa Carlile was commissioned to write a piece and she created Storybook Land.

During the concert Solfa will give a brief introduction and share some insight about this work, giving us, the audience, a lovely opportunity to hear directly from the composer.

About the Artists

Claudia Boyle

A former member of the Salzburger Festspiele’s prestigious Young Singers Project, Irish Soprano Claudia Boyle has won both 1st Prize and the Critics Award at The Maria Callas Competition in Verona where the Callas Estate presented her with the miraculous medal once owned and worn by the legendary singer. She was also chosen by acclaimed film director Mike Leigh to star in his first ever venture for the operatic stage as the leading heroine Mabelin Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance in London’s Coliseum.

Career highlights have included the roles of Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and Komische Oper Berlin, Alice in Alice’s Adventures Underground at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden under Thomas Adès, Adina in L’elisir d’Amore at Semperoper Dresden and Den Norske Opera, Leila in The Pearl Fishers for English National Opera, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream conducted by James Conlon at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor with Danish National Opera.

Claudia appeared with the New York Philharmonic at the Metropolitan Opera’s Lincoln Centre, singing the role of Cecily Cardew in Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest. She performed the four roles of Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta and Stella in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for Irish National Opera and as a testament to her linguistic strengths, made her debut as Verdi’s Gilda in Rigoletto at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma to overwhelming audience and critical acclaim.

Her blossoming concert career has taken her further afield to Tokyo, Sao Paolo and Ankara. She has appeared at the Salzburger Festspiele in Cherubini’s Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn under Riccardo Muti, with NHK Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No.8 under Paavo Järvi, and in Henze’s Nachtstücke und Arien with NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover under Eivind Gullberg Jensen. Claudia joined Kent Nagano and Ensemble Modern in the role of Dede for the premiere performance of a new chamber version of Bernstein’s A Quiet Place at Konzerthaus Berlin, subsequently joining Nagano and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal for further performances and a CD recording for DECCA.

Claudia collaborated with playwright Enda Wash and composer Donnacha Dennehy on their first opera The Last Hotel which received critical acclaim at The Dublin Theatre Festival, The Edinburgh Festival and The Prototype Festival in New York. This was subsequently filmed by Sky Arts and recorded by Cantaloupe Music record label.

Niall O’Sullivan

One of Ireland’s foremost classical musicians, Niall O’Sullivan has performed all over Europe, Asia and the USA appearing in prominent concert halls to sell-out crowds with his ensemble of world class musicians. Both Niall’s self-titled debut album and Ballads EP reached No. 1 on the iTunes classical & jazz charts. His orchestral album Niall O’Sullivan and Friends was produced by Julian Lloyd Webber and Gavin Murphy and features opera star Danielle de Niese, four-time Grammy-winning jazz guitarist Larry Carlton, theatre royalty Kim Criswell and two of Ireland’s finest vocalists, Emmet Cahill and Lisa Lambe.

Niall has performed baroque and classical works for trumpet and orchestra with the National Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra and several other ensembles throughout Ireland including a performance of Vivaldi’s Double Trumpet Concerto with trumpet legend Crispian Steele-Perkins. As an arranger, he has performed his own unique arrangements of iconic works with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for live radio broadcasts and concert performances.

Niall and his wife, vocalist Shóna Henneberry, have toured the USA extensively with their sell out show My Funny Valentine. As a featured guest, he has performed with Josh Groban, The Priests and The Unthanks and as a sideman he has shared the stage with Tom Jones, Amy Winehouse, Jose Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Dionne Warwick and Sinead O’Connor. He has performed for every president in Ireland since 1990 and was principal trumpet for the Pope’s Irish visit in 2018.

“The brilliant Claudia Boyle…who seemed to take every vocal demand in her stride” –Opera Magazine

“O’Sullivan’s Piazzolla brought the audience to their feet” –The Irish Times

“Boyle’s plaintive soprano in particular shines” –Gramophone

“Niall O’Sullivan’s playing was bright, breezy, delicate, joyous and stylish” –The Irish Examiner


Conor Linehan


About the Composer

Solfa Carlile
Originally from Cork, Solfa was a recipient of the Bill Whelan Bursary, graduating from the Royal College of Music. In 2010 she received the NCH Jerome Hynes Young Composers’ Award and was composer-in-residence for the Covent Garden Sinfonia from 2012-2014. Solfa received the Seán O’Riada Prize in 2013.  Her cantata The Life of St. Cuthbert was premiered at the 2019 Durham Vocal Festival and she was the featured composer for the 2019 Spotlight Chamber Music series at Triskel Arts Centre.  In 2022, Solfa collaborated on The Sequenza Project with flautist Eilís O’Sullivan, composing a new work, Sonanotine, to complement Luciano Berio’s Sequenza series.

Also, a theatre composer, Solfa’s folk musical-in-progress, Setanta the Brave was workshopped in London in 2021 and 2022. She was awarded a doctorate (DPhil) in music from the University of Oxford, culminating in the composition of a chamber opera The Exile based on James Joyce.