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Fulfilling a long-held ambition

RENOWNED Clare soprano Maretta O’Hehir is about to fulfil a long-held ambition with the release of her newest album.

Faith, Hope and Love, an album of church songs will be launched at the Temple Gate Hotel on April 25 and Maretta told us she is thrilled to be releasing the CD.

“It’s long been my ambition to do an album of church music, I sing a lot at weddings and funerals. I’ve been thinking of it for a long time and eventually I got down to making it a year ago,” she explained.

Some proceeds from the sale of the CD will go towards the hospice in Cahercalla Community Hospital.

Singing since the age of three, Maretta has studied at Royal Irish Academy and the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston.

“I’ve been singing all of my life, music has always had a real appeal for me,” she said.

When it came to choosing which songs to perform on the album, she had plenty to choose from having sang with choirs all of her life.

“I decided to sing some of my favourites and I hope the listener will enjoy them. There are some lovely songs here from Schubert’s Ave Maria and Pie Jesu to some old hymns and a few Liam Lawton numbers,” she explained. She is accompanied on the album by four musicians.

The distinctive cover of the album features an image of the stained glass window in her parish church of Ballycorick.

This is Maretta’s second CD, having launched her first Irish Favourites a few years ago. While a member of the Bunratty Singers, Maretta toured with them as chief soloist all over Europe, America, Canada, Iceland as well as England, Scotland and Wales.

Maretta is also a member of the Ennis Musical Society and she is busily rehearsing for this summer’s upcoming production.

The production, which is called A Trip to Broadway and the West End, includes a compilation of 100 years of Broadway musicals as well as songs from such musicals as Grease, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, West Side Story and Blood Brothers.

“The music is totally different from what’s on the album. I am really looking forward to it. It’s not so much a show this year as a concert with excerpts from lots of Broadway shows and it should be a lot of fun,” she said.

Maretta has won many awards both at the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera and from the Association of Irish Musical Societies including best female lead, best Irish voice and best female voice of the festival.

With the musical society, she has played the female lead in at least 16 of their shows including The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus and Showboat to name but a few. She has also guested with other societies.

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