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Imagine a musical ensemble that performs – all in the same breath – French Cabaret, Tango, and popular music from Italy and South America. Imagine it composed of three renowned and incredibly talented musical artists, all of whom have toured solo and in other ensembles all over the world.

The group you imagine has a name, and it is Passion.

Comprised of guitar virtuoso Drazen Derek, dynamic violinist Patrick Collins, and internationally acclaimed tenor Anthony Norton, and supported by guest artists Margaret Fitzerald (piano) and Michael Stedman (classical guitar), Passion is a must-see for music lovers. They are performing Friday 9th September, 7:30pm, in the  Woodenbridge Hotel, Vale of Avoca, Arklow, Co Wicklow.

This event is, according to The Irish Independent, “everything that you want a live performance to be.”

Tenor Anthony Norton is one of Ireland’s most accomplished and versatile lyric tenors. As a solo artist and as one of the Three Irish Tenors he has toured America, Canada, Europe, India, Taiwan, Japan and the Caribbean. He studied singing, piano, cello and conducting at Trinity College of Music London before embarking on a career with The Scottish Opera. Since then he has performed as a soloist in opera, concert, oratorio and musical theatre at venues from the Royal Opera House to Carnegie Hall and Broadway. At home in Ireland, Norton has performed with every major orchestra and ensemble. He is “blessed with a vocal instrument of exceptional strength, yet equally versed in carrying songs with a lightness that allows an audience to settle back in soft, dreamy comfort,” wrote The Chronical, Ontario.

Violinist Patrick Collins and guitarist Drazen Derek have made many appearances on television with Café Orchestra, an Irish band founded by Collins himself in the nineties.  Café Orchestra was first brought to the attention of the Irish public by an appearance on The Late Late Show. They have toured extensively and become a favourite for special occasions in the entertainment and business world. They now perform with Anthony Norton as a part of Passion.

Margaret Fitzgerald, an exceptionally talented classical pianist from Arklow, first began studying her craft at the age of four. She studied in the College of Music in Dublin and The Royal Academy of Music, Dublin. She taught piano at Beaumont Secondary School before deciding to teach privately in her own home, which she continues to do. She has been involved in musicals for two decades. Her work as an accompanist to choirs and solo vocalists is in high demand.

Rathdrum native Michael Stedman has studied classical guitar for eight years. He has performed in many venues between Wicklow and Dublin including Cornucopia, the Tap Cafe, and The Grainstone Restaurant. He performed his first solo concert in St Saviour’s Church, Rathdrum and accompanied the DIT Chamber Choir in their annual Christmas Concert. He has performed at weddings, corporate events and recital settings as well as worked with students with special needs, largely through his association with the Williams Syndrome Association of Ireland Music Camp. Stedman has a keen interest in music therapy.

Come experience the thrill of Passion for yourself Friday 9th September at 7:30pm in the Woodenbridge Hotel, Vale of Avoca, Arklow, Co Wicklow. Tickets €15 are available at Kenny’s of the Harbour Bar, Lower Main Street, Arklow, Kavanagh’s Wexford Road, Arklow as well as the Woodenbridge Hotel Reception. This event is supported by Wicklow County Council Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative.

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