(Posted 11:30 p.m., Dec. 8)
Vivo and friends give triumphant performance of Handel's
By Fred Sherwin
been nearly a decade since the Blackburn Chorus celebrated
the 250th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with a superlative
performance of the Austrian composer's Requiem
in Dominion Chalmers Church.
the time and in the years since, it's stood at the top
of my list of all-time favourite choral performances.
That space is now shared by Coro Vivo's powerfully moving
performance of Handel's Messiah at the Shenkman Arts Centre
Vivo performs Handel's Messiah at the Shenkman
Arts Centre on Saturday under the direction
of Antonio Llaca. Fred Sherwin/Photo
perform the Messiah you need three key ingredients --
a superb chorus, a talented orchestra and outstanding
soloists. Saturday night's performance had all three,
not to mention an exceptional venue.
been hoping and wishing that Coro Vivo would hold a concert
in the Harold Shenkman Hall ever since the Shenkman Arts
Centre opened in 2009. On Saturday, my wish was granted
and the result was truly magical. Hallelujah!
Virtuosi Orchestra provided the musical accompaniment,
while soprano Joan Fearnley, mezzo-soprano Arminé
Kassabian, tenor Jeffery Boyd were the invited soloists.
anyone who is unfamiliar with Handel's Messiah it is the
composition with the "Hallelujah" chorus.
English-language oratorio was composed by George Frideric
Handel in 1741 using a scriptural text compiled by Charles
Jennens from the King James Bible.
composition covers the story of Christ from Biblical prophecy
to his ascendancy into Heaven in three parts. Part I begins
with the prophecies of Isaiah and Malachi on the coming
of the Messiah and moves to the annunciation to the shepherds
and Christ's healing and redemption.
Part II, Handel concentrates on the Passion and ends with
the "Hallelujah" chorus, while Part III covers
the resurrection of the dead and Christ's glorification
I allows each of the soloists to truly shine, starting
with the tenor, moving to the mezzo-soprano, and finishing
with the soprano.
three of the soloists featured in the Coro Vivo concert
were amazing. I was especially impressed by soprano Joan
Fearnley and her recital of the three movements making
up "The annunciation to the shepherds", and
the 52nd movement, "The final conquest of sin".
the highlight of any performance of Handel's Messiah is
chorus and Coro Vivo didn't disappoint.
close to 90 uninterrupted minutes in length, the Messiah
is a rather ambitious project for any chorus to tackle
and Coro Vivo did a superb job from the opening line of
the fourth movement to the final "Amen."
to say, it was a real treat and somewhat of an honour
to have been present for Coro Vivo's maiden performance
at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Here's hoping they make a
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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