November 25th, 2019
November 25th, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VOICES FOR PEACE
Angeles Chorale presents
Voices for Peace
The first concert of their 45th Anniversary Season:
LOS ANGELES, Calif.
On December 14th, the voices of the Angeles Chorale become Voices for Peace as they celebrate the holidays with the first concert of their 45th Anniversary season. “This Sapphire Season, we’re reflecting on our humble beginnings, and celebrating continued growth,” says Executive Director Laura Mason. “Voices for Peace will begin the season by joining our singers together; new, returning, and founding members, to bring a beautiful and heartfelt concert to our audience.” As the Chorale celebrates the past 45 years, they will perform diverse choral music from all over the world. Come celebrate hope and unity with this eclectic night of music! It will fill you with the magic of the holidays and send you back into the world with renewed spirit.
The Angeles Chorale brings to life the sounds of the season with a message of peace on Earth and goodwill to all with the hauntingly poignant, Dona Nobis Pacem. English composer Vaughan Williams’ 1936 work literally means “grant us peace,” artfully combining the text of the Bible, a Mass, a political speech, and three moving poems by Walt Whitman. This meaningful union of text, voice, and orchestra takes audiences through six thrilling movements that navigate this impassioned cry for peace. The final movement will leave the audience entranced, as it explores optimism in the face of adversity. Making her debut with the Chorale, soprano soloist, Victoria Lawal, was recently named as a Fine Arts Scholar by the Congressional Black Caucus and selected as the only soprano in the 2018 Young Artist program at the Ad Astra Music Festival. As a doctoral student in vocal performance at USC, this Nigerian-American soprano is a mainstay with the USC Thornton Opera program. Returning to the Chorale as a soloist for the third time, baritone Ben Lowe is heralded for his “stentorian voice” and has quickly become a household name in the opera world in Southern California and abroad. Most recently Mr. Lowe has joined Opera Delaware as a Young Artist for their inaugural season, performing leading roles in Dead Man Walking and Trial by Jury. The Angeles Chorale is thrilled to have these two dynamic soloists join them on this musical journey and impassioned cry for peace.
In the second half of the concert, Voices for Peace transports audiences again, this time with Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds’ astounding work, Stars. Set to a 1920 poem, by American poet Sara Teasdale, Stars’ colorful tone has an essence of heavenly mystery. Accompanied by water-tuned wine glasses played by the Chorale members themselves, this piece is a musical experience both innovative and ethereal. Audiences will be on the edge of their seats when the Chorale ends this imaginative piece with a spine-tingling final note, as the overtones of the glasses are left hanging in the air. Continuing their exploration of music around the world, the message of peace is universal in Ravta et rivam. This setting of the Hebrew prayer, Al HaNissim “On the Miracles” is recited during the Jewish festival of lights, Hanukkah. Rex Isenberg, local Los Angeles composer says, “I composed Ravta et rivam to complement the tradition lighthearted Hanukkah choral fare with a more reverent and reflective musical take on the holiday. Having first heard the piece performed during the holidays in New York in 2013, I couldn’t be more thrilled to hear the piece for the first time in my new home on the West Coast as performed by the wonderful Angeles Chorale!”
Included in the program, is Canadian composer Sarah Quartel’s fresh and exciting Sing, My Child. Joyful from the start, this piece celebrates the beauty found all around us. Accompanied by a hand drum, the percussion adds a rhythmic flair to the dynamic choral harmonies that will send spirits soaring. Also included in the program is English composer John Rutter’s Star Carol, which is full of hope and promise as it tells the story of the night Jesus was born. Harkening back to the Christmas carols of yesteryear, this contemporary song has become synonymous with the holidays, rich with tradition. An audience favorite, Still Still Still arranged by American composer Norman Luboff, is a perfect way to showcase the skilled voices of the Angeles Chorale. This Austrian carol has been a tradition in holiday music for over a century, first appearing in Austrian folk music in 1865. Luboff’s treatment of this peaceful lullaby is both heartwarming and hopeful. And, of course, the sing-along tradition continues as Chorale and audience welcome the season together. “This concert will transcend traditional Christmas music,” says Artistic Director John Sutton, “It will be a cultural experience that will expand the color pallet of the holiday season.” Join the Angeles Chorale singers and their Voices for Peace as they regale in the season and unite us all in a hope for peace on Earth.
Saturday, December 14th, at 7:30 p.m.
First United Methodist Church of Pasadena
500 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA. 91101
$30 if purchased in advance online
$35 at the door
Group and family discounts available
About the Angeles Chorale
The Angeles Chorale is an all-volunteer, professional-level, auditioned group of 100 Angelenos from all walks of life, aged 21 to over 70, brought together by their shared passion for great choral music. Their mission is to engage, enrich and inspire audiences, singers, and their diverse community by performing great choral music with a passionate commitment to excellence, and to increase access to and appreciation of choral music in greater Los Angeles. Recent Angeles Chorale performance highlights include A John Williams Celebration with the LA Phil at Disney Hall, and Barbra Streisand’s Back to Brooklyn concert at the Hollywood Bowl. In 2014 the Chorale was featured with the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl in An Evening of Chinese Splendor and in 2015 the Angeles Chorale performed in Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy at the Microsoft Theater. In December 2015 the Angeles Chorale released An American Christmas, recorded live in concert and featuring works by Morten Lauridsen, Alfred Burt, and Randol Alan Bass. Recently, the Chorale was featured in live concert performances of Final Fantasy XIV at the Dolby Theatre and at the Microsoft Theater for The Music of Miyzaki.
About Artistic Director John Sutton
The Chorale’s 2019-2020 concert season marks the tenth under Artistic Director Dr. John Sutton. John’s artistic vision for the Angeles Chorale rests on a foundation of choral excellence in performing music of diverse expressions and styles including major works for choir and orchestra, shorter works from the classical choral canon, works by contemporary choral composers, and folk, gospel, world and pop music. He is a Professor at Azusa Pacific University in the College of the Arts, where he serves as the Director of Choral Activities.