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PreViews & Features

Quire Cleveland to perform Charpentier mass based on Noëls in three concerts this weekend

by Daniel Hathaway

QUIRE-at-TrinityFor its sixth annual round of Christmas concerts on December 19, 20 and 21, Quire Cleveland under the direction of its founder, Ross W. Duffin, will feature music from a single national tradition. French Christmas carols, or Noëls, have a long, folk-based history both in their country of origin and wherever French culture has been spread — including by Jesuit missionaries in what is now French-speaking Canada.

Literary scholars began collecting the texts of these carols as early as 1537, when Pierre Sergent gathered 150 of them into his anthology, Les Grans Noelz. By the late seventeenth century, the Noëls had inspired Parisian composers to write sets of organ variations on their delightful tunes. Marc-Antoine Charpentier based an entire setting of the midnight mass on eleven of them for use in L’Eglise Saint-Louis, the Jesuit church in the Marais district of Paris. One carol tune was even pinched by English composer John Gay for his 18th century Beggar’s Opera, where it was set to the distinctly secular text, “Fill every glass, for wine inspires us.” [Read More…]

Contemporary Youth Orchestra alumni to gather for a concert on Dec. 20

by Mike Telin

Season19

This time of year there is a seemingly endless number of holiday concerts on the calendar. If you’re looking for something different, just for one evening, the Contemporary Youth Orchestra invites you to be part of their 20th anniversary celebration. On Saturday, December 20 at 7:00 pm in Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University, Liza Grossman will lead the 120-member CYO Reunion Orchestra in a free concert featuring Igor Stravinsky’s “Berceuse” and “Finale” (Firebird Suite), Derek Snyder’s Sun Up, Tan Dun’s Internet Symphony, Gustav Holst’s “Mars” (The Planets) and Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 2.

Grossman could not be more pleased with the fact that Saturday’s orchestra will include alumni representing each of CYO’s past nineteen seasons. “For the first time in our history alums are coming back for one magical night! There are a few charter members returning and I believe there will be at least one member from each season after that. Some people I haven’t seen in 18 years, but we’ll have nametags for everybody so we’ll know who is who. I think some of them may be older than I am by now!” [Read More…]

Cleveland Opera Theater to present Amahl on December 20 and 21

by Mike Telin

COT-Black-LogoOpera Per Tutti, founded in 2006, announced last Friday that they were “rebranding” themselves as Cleveland Opera Theater. In a brief press release the company stated that:

Cleveland Opera Theater will continue to enrich the cultural life in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio by performing professional opera theater that is accessible, affordable and exciting, featuring professional artists who make Northeast Ohio their home, and offering exceptional education and outreach programming throughout the region.

We believe our new name will enhance our visibility in the community and allow for more dynamic partnerships with other Northeast Ohio organizations.  Please join us in celebrating our new name as we look to a bright future of Opera in Cleveland! 

The first production presented under the company’s new name will take place this weekend, with two free performances of the holiday classic one-act opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors. Performances will take place on Saturday, December 20 at 7:00 pm in Cleveland Public Theatre’s Parish Hall and on Sunday, December 21 at 2:00 pm in University Circle United Methodist Church. [Read More…]

The Cleveland Orchestra celebrates the Holidays

by Mike Telin

MacMaster-NatalieIt’s all about the holidays this week at Severance Hall. On Wednesday, December 17 at 7:30 pm, Brett Mitchell will lead The Cleveland Orchestra and renowned Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster inChristmas in Cape Breton,” a special show that mixes folk and Celtic styles with Holiday favorites and Nova-Scotian jigs.

“We’re really excited about it,” MacMaster said during a telephone conversation. “I love playing music with symphony orchestras. It’s such a nice change for us. We do about a dozen shows with orchestra each year, out of our one hundred shows a year. And this is even more special because it is Christmas time.”

If you’ve had the privilege of hearing Natalie MacMaster perform live, you know she is one of the most versatile and exciting musicians on the folk and Celtic scenes. You also know that Christmas is a special time for her. “I’m a fiddler and at Christmas time in Cape Breton there are a ton of house parties. It’s a time to get together and play our traditional music, so there will be a lot of that on the program as well.” [Read More…]

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