A Huge Roundup Of Choral Concerts
Pick a month - any month - and you'll find an amazing assortment of choral concerts on the greater Seattle music calendar.
But this season it seems as if there are more than ever. Choral conductors report an overall growth in membership and in audiences eager to hear the choral masterworks of past and present centuries (including premieres and works by local composers.)
Brahms' Deutsches Requiem, a deeply moving and large-scale work, will have a special significance in two Seattle Choral Company performances March 23 and 24, when Fred Coleman conducts the 125-voice chorale in Meany Theater. These concerts, co-sponsored by the West German Consulate, officially commemorate the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the rebirth of freedom in East Germany. Representatives of the consulate will be on hand at both performances to offer public statements about the commemoration.
The requiem features two guest soloists, soprano Davida Kagen and baritone Randie Blooding. The program also includes Bach's most famous motet, ``Jesu, Meine Freude,'' performed by the group's smaller chamber choir (527-9193).
The Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Chorale will present one of the great choral landmarks, Verdi's highly operatic Requiem, in two performances, 8 p.m. March 26 and 27, in the Opera House. On the podium will be music director Gerard Schwarz; the soloists' roster include Alessandra Marc, Sarah Young, Timothy Jenkins and Terry Cook
Bach's masterpiece, the St. Matthew Passion, will be this year's Lenten event for the Seattle Chamber Singers and Broadway Symphony, whose conductor, George Shangrow, has led six previous performances of this work since 1979. The seventh airing, set for 2 p.m. March 25 in Meany Theater, also features the Columbia Boys Choir, directed by Steve Stevens, and six soloists: Mukund Marathe, Brian Box, Catherine Haight, Kathryn Weld, Stephen Wall and Steven Tachell (682-5208).
The Camerata Chorale celebrates its fifth season with two performances of Mendelssohn's oratorio ``Elijah'' (7:30 p.m. March 24 in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church of Bothell, and 7:30 p.m. in St. Stephen's Episcopal Church of Laurelhurst; 820-0465). Delores Fox conducts the 50-member group; soloists include Karin Hilse, Emily Lunde and Alfred Gress.
Traditional Jewish liturgical music will be featured in ``A Celebration of Song: Cantorial Concert'' in Tacoma March 25, where four Puget Sound cantors (Celia Gartenberg of Congregation Beth Shalom in Seattle, Don Kartiganer of Temple Beth El in Tacoma, Bradlee Kurland of Herzl-Ner Tamid Congregation in Seattle and Marilyn Ladin of Everett's Temple Beth Ohr) perform a free 4 p.m. concert in Tacoma's Temple Beth El.
A rare chance to hear a Polish choir, The Polish Nightingales, comes March 23 at 8 p.m., when the boys' and men's choir performs choral literature from Gregorian chant to Penderecki under the direction of Jerzy Kurczewski in Holy Rosary Catholic Church of West Seattle. Sponsored by the Northwest Girlchoir, the Nightingales will stay in homes provided by the Polish community during their time in Seattle. The Polish chorus is considered one of the five best children's choirs in Europe (329-6225).
More visitors: The Washington State University Crimson Company Show Choir visits the Intiman Playhouse at the Seattle Center on Monday (March 19) for an 8 p.m. program of works from Broadway, the 1940s and pops favorites. The 16-member song-and-dance troupe will be accompanied by a nine-piece instrumental ensemble (682-3328).
The Seattle Peace Chorus is looking for singers 8-18 to ``work for peace and sing at peace events''; there are no auditions, but singers are expected to work toward a professional performance. Rehearsals are weekly through May 26; a $90 fee is required. For information, call 632-5759.
The Menotti opera ``The Old Maid and the Thief'' is in progress at the Blue Heron Center for the Arts on Vashon Island, where performances are 8 p.m. March 16, 17, 24 and 2 p.m. March 25. The opera is performed in English, with soloists Kendall Campbell, Marita Erickson, Gary Koch and Velvet Neifert, with Gerald McGee and conducting and direction by Elizabeth W. Anthony (463-5131).
Another opera, Gershwin's beloved ``Porgy and Bess,'' will be heard this Sunday in Olympia's Washington Center for the Performing Arts, where Robert Mosley and Leavata Johnson will be the soloists for conductor Robert Pendergrast, under auspices of the Capitol Area Youth Symphony (1-753-8586).
The Polyphonic Singers, under the direction of Lindsay Heather, present Vittoria's seldom-heard mass, ``Simile Est Regnum Coelorum,'' as well as works of J.H. Rolle, Johann Jeep, Luca Marenzio, Henry Purcell, Jacob Handl and several English madrigalists. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Friday (March 16) in Central Lutheran Church of Seattle (523-4032).
Looking ahead: Seattle will be full of barbershop singers April 6-7, when this city hosts the Sweet Adelines North Pacific Region competition for choruses and quartets at the Sheraton Hotel. Among the public events will be the quartet competition, chorus competition and show of champions (8 p.m. April 7); for tickets, call 628-0888.
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