Choralies Edmonton packs diversity
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 06:00 am
Choralies Edmonton 2012
La Société Choralies Edmonton 2012
July 8 to July 15
Winspear Centre, St. Thomas d'Aquin Church, McDougall United Church and First Presbyterian Church
Tickets: Winspear concerts: Adults $25, students/seniors $15. Call 780-428-1414. Church concerts: Tickets at door. $15 adults, $10 students/seniors
If diversity is a must for you, check out Choralies Edmonton 2012, a one-off festival that brings together several hundred francophone singers from across Canada.
Hosted by La Société Choralies Edmonton, this choral festival presents seven great concerts running from July 8 to July 15. Divided into two series of concerts they include the Premier Series at the Winspear Centre, and assorted afternoon and evening concerts St. Thomas d’Aquin Church, McDougall United Church and First Presbyterian Church.
In this choral tide, prepare to hear classical chamber choirs, massed choirs, pulsating African music, traditional Acadian music and contemporary masterworks.
“I wanted it to be an incredibly powerful experience for people coming from near and afar. Choral music has a way of erasing differences. Because it has communication built into it, it is one of the most powerful art forms today,” says artistic director Laurier Fagnan.
Opening the festival is You, Me, Quite a World, a concert headlined by two chamber choirs – Edmonton’s esteemed Pro Coro directed by Dr. John Brough and Choeur du chambre du Quebec directed by Robert Ingari.
They will sing individually and together with Jeremy Spurgeon accompanying them on Stravinsky’s L’oiseau de feu. For the finale, about 150 choristers will join them.
“It will be a wall of sound. It’ll be a great end to the opening concert.”
Bookending the festival is the Massed Choir Finale with Edmonton’s Chorale Saint Jean performing France Levasseur-Ouimet’s historical Elles s’appellaient Marie with a workshop choir. It recounts the story of Quebec’s migration to the west in 16 pieces.
“It has some very funny moments, some drama, dancing and joking. It also has some folksy, beautiful ballads.”
They also sing the premiere of Maison du Peuple/House of the People, a bilingual composition by Levasseur-Ouimet that was commissioned to celebrate the role of the legislature.
In An Explosion of Sound, Fagnan highlights a mixed bag of rising stars ranging from Allez Ouest and Crystal Plamondon to Mireille Moquin and Rahaël Freynet.
However, top billing goes to Calgary piano prodigy Jan Lisiecki, 17, who has turned heads in Rome, Stockholm and Paris. He performs Lizt’s Un Sospiro and Chopin’s La grande valse brillante.
“When you listen to him, he has something others are lacking. He oozes musicality.”
A choral festival that spotlights numerous choirs performing everything from spiritual and folk to classical and pop happens rarely.
“The program is diverse, moving and important. Some people think choirs are staid and boring. This is contemporary music you can wrap your ears around. There is some light classical, but everything is accessible.”
Visit www.choraliesedmonton2012.ca/english for a full itinerary.