As Northern Ireland’s only gay choir tune up for their biggest concert to date, the award-winning singers received a resounding endorsement from world-famous actor and gay rights advocate, Simon Callow.
The Royal Shakespeare actor, who most famously starred in the hit film Four Weddings and a Funeral and is openly gay, lent his support to Quire’s concert which takes place in Belfast Pride Week at the end of June.
Simon Callow began his acting career at Queen’s University in the late ‘60s which gave him a deep love of Belfast to the extent that he recently premiered his one-man show The Man Jesus in the city to critical acclaim.
“It is wonderful to find the Belfast I have returned to moving with the times and celebrating the gay community with this joyous concert,” the 63-year-old Londoner said.
“I wish Quire every success for its work in engaging the LGBT community in Northern Ireland which hasn’t always been so visible. The Quire concert in June promises to open a very lively Pride Week in Belfast with this year’s wonderful theme – Bright & Bold – I hope it will be!”
Quire is a group of singers from Northern Ireland’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgendered) community, formed in April 2005 initially to sing at the annual Pride Festival in Belfast. It has since grown to 32 members – of various nationalities – who have performed at festivals and concert venues across the UK and Ireland.
After a series of sell-out concerts at venues across Belfast in recent years, Quire has moved its Pride concert this year to a bigger venue – the brand-spanking new MAC right in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter where much of the Pride festivities will take place.
On Saturday 29 June, Quire will present Songs with Love & Pride which promises to be their best ever show featuring an eclectic mix of music – including Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen, Emmylou Harris, and Gotye’s recent massive hit Somebody That I Used to Know as well as songs from musical theatre.
Quire chairman and one of its founders, Ken Moffett said: “We are delighted to get this support from Simon Callow, who as an openly gay actor has been a very eloquent advocate for the LGBT community. Not to be mistaken, of course for X-Factor judge Simon Cowell! Perhaps Quire will get his endorsement next… We certainly believe this choir has come a long way. So get your tickets for the concert and find out what all the fuss is about!”
Quire member and secretary, Lizzie Lynas said: “I joined Quire because I wanted to sing and since joining I have not only enjoyed the chance to sing and learn new things but I love the sense of community, friendship and fun that we all share. Quire and the friendships I have made there have helped me through some difficult patches. If you only go to one concert this year, go to this because we truly sing our hearts out.”
Quire presents: Songs with Love & Pride on Saturday 29 June in the MAC at 7.45pm. Tickets, priced £13.50, are now on sale and going fast. To book call 028 9023 5053 or online at www.themaclive.com