Volume 9 Week 1

Wednesday, Dec. 9


 

Updated Nov. 1


Click on image

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

 

 

 

 



(Posted 8:30 p.m., Dec. 7)

Latin flavour spices up Coro Vivo Christmas concert
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Soprano Sylvia Larass was the guest soloist during Coro Vivo Ottawa’s Christmas concert performance of 'Navidad Nuestra' and ‘Misa Criolla’ last weekend. Fred Sherwin/Photo


It's been three years since the Blackburn Chorus changed their name to Coro Vivo Ottawa, and since that time they have grown into one of the preeminent choral ensembles in the city, as evident during their annual Christmas concert which was held at the Orleans United Church last Friday and Saturday night.

It’s been three years since the Blackburn Chorus changed their name to Coro Vivo Ottawa, and since that time they have grown into one of the preeminent choral ensembles in the city, as evident during their annual Christmas concert which was held at the Orleans United Church last Friday and Saturday night.

At around the same time they took on a more regional focus in terms of their
membership and concert schedule, the Coro Vivo Ottawa began to mix various international musical stylings into their performances, culminating with last year’s Christmas concert which featured songs of the season from around the world.

Knowing the chorus’ past affinity for world music, it came as no surprise that this year’s holiday offering would reflect the musical roots of their 25-year-old Cuban-born director Antonio Llaca.

Llaca was appointed assistant choral conductor for the National Arts Centre Orchestra two seasons ago and this past year he took on the added responsibility of directing Coro Vivo Ottawa.

In coming up with the program for this year’s Christmas concert, Llaca chose a pair of arrangements by Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez that are extremely popular in Spaish-speaking countries, but not so well-known in English speaking North America.

“Navidad Nuestra” (Our Christmas) and “Misa Criolla” (Creole Mass) were both written in 1964 and they both are heavily influenced by South American folk music, dances and rhythms. In fact, “Misa Criolla” was written in Creole with Andean influences.

“Navidad Nuestra” tells the story of the Chirst’s birth in six separate movements entitled The Annunciation, The Pilgrimage, The Nativity, The Shepherds, The Three Kings and The Flight. Each movement is inspired by a different South American dance rhythm. For instance, The Pilgrimage is influenced by a style of dance called “Huellas”, which means footprints.

To help perform the “Navidad Nuestra” and “Misa Criolla”, the chorus recruited soprano Sylvia Larass as the guest soloist and instrumentalists Alvaro de Minaya, Gustavo Saavedra, Luis Abanto and Willy Terrones to provide accompaniment.

Larass was simply exquisite throughout the six movements of “Navidad Nuestra”, but it was during the “Misa Criolla” that she shone the brightest. First, during Kyrie and then Gloria with its exotic undertones.

The third movement, Credo, was incredible as well, followed by Sanctus, which acts as a short bridge to the composition’s final movement Agnus Dei, which for me, was the highlight of the evening.

Although the two pieces are relatively foreign to the chorus members, you would not have known it listening to the performance which was delivered with an energy and force that perfectly matched the temperment of the arrangements.

Following a short intermission, the chorus returned to perform a collection of more traditonal holiday carols starting with “The Huron Carol”. The sold-out audience then joined in the singing of “Silent Night” in English, French and German with the lyrics provided in all three languages in the program.

Four of the next five compositions were French, beginning with “Noel Nouvelet” and ending with “Quelle est Cette Odeur Agreeable?” featuring soloist Lyne Brousseau.

The performance came to a joyous conclusion with a rousing rendition of “Joy to the World” with musical accompaniment provided by Santa Claus himself on the sleigh bells.

The chorus was accompanied throughout the evening by pianist Louise Léveillé who has been performing with the group since 1990.

With this year’s Christmas concert now behind them, the chorus will begin rehearsals for their spring concert which will include Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and “Popule Meus” by the Velenzeulan composer Jose Angel Lamas.

The concert will take place at St. Joseph's Church on Laurier Avenue and will also be a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. To find out more about Coro Vivo Ottawa visit www.corovivoottawa.ca.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

Return to top

Return to Front Page

 

 


 

Updated Dec. 1

<
Updated March 12






 

 


Orleans Online © 2001-2014 Sherwin Publishing