(Posted 7:30 a.m., Dec. 11)
Vivo returns 'Back Home for Christmas'
By Fred Sherwin
Soloist Helen Cai performs with Coro Vivo
during their holiday performance of 'Back
Home for Christmas' at the Orleans United
Church on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Vivos' stature as one of the premiere choral ensembles
in Ottawa was evident for all to see and hear Saturday
night as they performed the second of two Christmas concerts
at Orléans United Church.
by Cuban-born musical director Antonio Llaca, and accompanied
by Orléans pianist Louise Léveillé,
the 56-member chorus began the first half of their performance
with "Sicut Cérvus" with its Old Testament
message of finding hope in desolation which represents
the abiding emotion of mankind before the coming of the
haunting lament was the perfect prelude to the three Nativity-related
pieces that followed. Taken from Handel's Messiah,
"And The Glory of God", "And He Shall Purify"
and "For Unto Us A Child Is Born", are all expressions
of faith in wonders yet to come.
The Glory of God" showed off the chorus' soprano
section which sounded like a configuration of angels.
fitting prelude to the birth of the Christ Child was followed
by the audience participating in "Shepherds in the
Field Abiding", sung to the same tune as "Angels
We Have Heard On High", which rejoices in Christ's
chorus then performed the traditional Austrian Christmas
carol "Still, Still, Still", a lullaby arranged
by the 19th century composer Norman Luboff, followed by
the traditional 17th century Christmas carol "Es
ist ein' Ros' entsprugen", Lo How a Rose E'r Blooming.
audience then joined in the singing of "Hark The
Herald Angels Sing".
first half of the concert was brought to close with "O
Holy Night" featuring soloist Helen Cai who is a
recent addition to the ensemble.
a brief intermission, the chorus returned to the stage
for the second half of the performance.
as a true celebration of the holiday season, the second
half was appropriately kicked off with the first movement
of John Rutter's "Gloria" -- "Gloria In
Excelsis Deo", followed by a Ukranian version of
the "Carol of the Bells" entitled the "Ukranian
audience was then invited to sing "Silent Night"
in its original German version with choruses in French
chorus' next sang the David Willcock's arrangement of
the 17th century French Christmas lullaby "Quelle
est cette odeur agréable", followed by John
Rutter's arrangement of the medieval French carol ""Noél
nouvelet", and the Gustav Holst arrangement of "Personent
evening was brought to a joyous and exuberant close with
the audience joining in the singing of "Joy to the
World", followed by the John Rutter arrangement of
"Deck the Halls".
been three years since Llacas took over as Coro Vivo's
musical director and his influence on the ensemble has
been evident with each passing performance. In my own
humble opinion, Saturday night's Christmas concert was
their best to date.
won't have much time to rest on their laurels, however.
The chorus will soon begin work on their next concert,
a performance of José Maria Vitier's Misa Cubana
featuring professional soloists Ania Hejnar, Whitney O'Hearn
and Jeffrey Boyd, at Knox Presbyterian Church on Feb.
also have a concert planned for May 11 and 12, featuring
works by Brahms and Schumann, appropriately entitled "Music
more information about Coro Vivo you can visit their website
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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