All is Calm image

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

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Saturday December 5, 2015

 Written and directed by Peter Rothstein,
musical arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach

“a show of grace, beauty, and stillness and a reminder the true spirit of Christmas can be found in all of us –
no matter the situation, no matter how small.” Chelsey Stuyt, Vancouver Presents

 Two performances, one day only: Chor Leoni brings back last season’s hit show!

The Western Front, 1914. Out of the violence comes a silence, then a song. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land while singing Stille Nacht, and begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, and peace. In a fully staged musical/theatrical production, Chor Leoni and professional actors tell the true story of the Christmas Truce in the words and songs of the men who lived it.

Full Details

Saturday December 5, 2015 | 3pm & 8pm
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
649 Cambie St, Vancouver

All seats reserved.
Adult tickets from $35 (includes ticket surcharge & City of Vancouver facility fee)
Student with ID $20 (includes ticket surcharge & City of Vancouver facility fee)

TICKET AVAILABILITY UPDATE: DECEMBER 5
There are tickets available for both of today’s 3pm & 8pm performances, and they will be available at the door.
Note that online sales close at noon for the 3pm show and 4pm for the 8pm show.

Tickets and Availability

Reviews

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  1. I loved All Is Calm. My friend loved it too. I didn’t want it to end. We should remember those who gave their lives. This performance was very well done and satisfying. See you with my Family for the Christmas show. Penny Pearson.

    —Penelopepearson |
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  2. It was our pleasure to see All is Calm this afternoon. It was done with perfection, we were very moved by the performance. We had the opportunity to see Last Post in Ypres this past October and to have it referenced near the end of today’s performance was just wonderful. Thank you for such an amazing experience, we absolutely loved it.

    —Padraig and Lynne Cherry |
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  3. Another superb production! Thank you! I like the way the choir shakes our hand as we leave – it gives us a chance to say a personal few words. I’ll see you at St Andrew’s Wesley soon!

    —Pamela GEORGE |
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  4. Outside it’s raining; parking is frustrating; and people are already becoming testy. Today’s concert was a sobering moment of truly beautiful, thought-provoking, gut-wrenching human passion. Thank you for a well-spent afternoon!

    —Darlene Howard |
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  5. I don’t believe I have ever been so moved by a chorus. Most excellent show and the singing was absolutely superb!! An absolute must see! Thank you

    —Darrell mahoney |
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  6. It was spectacular and so emotional. The voices were fabulous. The sets were very effective. The use of the smoke was phenomenal. Never enjoyed a concert more. The 1 hour without intermission was most effective.
    Thank you for such a performance.

    —Richard Beauchamp |
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  7. Don’t thank me, thank YOU! It was a fully engaging hour. The production was so professionally done, so seamless, so beautifully staged… I loved everything about it. My friend and I were in tears from the beauty — and the horror.
    Again, thank you!

    —Michèle McManus |
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  8. The show moved us to tears. Beautiful voices and a heart-wrenching topic. Loved the extensive research that had gone into finding and including quotes from various letters written at the time, and the careful selection of songs and carols that chimed in at just the right moment to create the perfect mood. Makes one wish that the common sense of the common man could prevail over the pride and “honour” of the politicos.

    —m campbell |
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  9. Wonderful afternoon. Emotional rendering of this event. I enjoyed it just as much this year as last year’s performance. As usual exquisitely sung and choreographed. One could hear a pin drop, a testimony to a spellbound audience. Thank you Chor Leoni. Happy and peaceful Christmas to you all.

    Tessa

    —Tessa wilson |
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  10. Great story. Great music. Great choir.

    —Vera Starka |
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  11. Absolutely outstanding. I could not believe it. Thank you for a marvellous afternoon

    —Lizann Hedalen |
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  12. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon. The story of the Christmas truce of 1914 is one that is not widely known. Byron’s solo was true and clear; such good tone. The set was just right, minimalist, with just enough set to create the environment. The moon, the stars, and the snow did their parts so well, and were essential to creating the stage envelope.

    I was unable to see the production last year due to scheduling, but am so glad I was able to attend this afternoon. I hope you have plans to produce this show annually, or at least every other year. I can’t help but think high school students need to know this piece of history, and a musical presentation might just be the best way for them to hear the story in a lasting way.

    I will admit to tears rolling down my cheek at the end.

    —Helen Williams |
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  13. Really enjoyed the concert. The production was a great experience. Lovely to hear voices without any instrumental accompaniment.
    I was puzzled about the ticket sales, as we had seats right along the orchestra right edge, and there were lots of seats in the main orchestra area which would have given us a better view.
    At first, the actors were hard to hear and understand, but this got better as the event progressed, either because we got used to the accents, or perhaps there was an adjustment in the sound production.
    Great afternoon. Thanks you.
    We came to this show last year, and this time we brought our son and daughter in law to also see it.

    —Julia M. Toews |
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  14. Beautiful! Very touching, loved the story line, well put together, and of course the singing was amazing!!

    —Susan |
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  15. My only comment was I went through the comments above and clicked the 5 star on almost all of them, so what’s left to say? We really enjoyed last night’s performance. The music and staging and story and production were all amazing! We didn’t want it to end either! We will definitely go next year too! Thank you!

    —Bruce Grant |
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  16. Superb! I’ll be back next year.

    —Susan Masi |
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  17. A touching story well set and beautifully sung. Our small family sect went as a tribute to a veteran and discovered so much more with the artistic flair of this work of art. Thoroughly enjoyed meeting some of the choral members after the show, even more engaging for audience members. Thank you for the memory!

    —Sharon Craig |
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  18. A friend and I thought “All Is Calm” was a wonderful, extremely well presented performance of a story we didn’t know much about. The singing transported us. I hope presenting “All Is Calm” becomes a Chor Leoni Christmas tradition because I would like to take other friends to see it.

    —Elizabeth Smith |
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  19. We felt transported to the battlefield to share a Calm Night. What a great experience beginning to end. The layers of men’s voices – the snow falling – the stars in the night sky – loved it all. A timely and timeless message about humanity.

    My only complaint: I want more productions so i can tell everyone to go see this.

    —PK |
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  20. The performance, as others have noted, was excellent, although I agree with the person who commented that some of the words were difficult to understand. But the quality of the performance and the production were very well done.

    Having said that, this show should have been presented in a smaller venue, like the Playhouse, for instance, as the number of empty seats–and the move down to the orchestra for the balcony people–was somewhat disconcerting. Performing in a smaller venue would have enhanced the performance and brought down the ticket price as well. By comparison, the Cantata Singers charge about $25 for a one hour performance, almost half of the price for this show. And the overall costs for the production would come down as well, making a win-win situation for both Chor Leoni and the audience.

    —The Grinch |
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  21. Fantastic, thoroughly enjoyed the performance, definitely will go again, and also tell all my friends to go.

    —Steve Moon |
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  22. Not good value for money. $45 for one hour! Not again.

    —Charlene Gram |
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  23. Wow – just … wow. Of course we all go to many artistic performances over the year, and especially during the holiday season, and with varying degrees of success they usually entertain and distract us from the everyday and make us laugh or cry, but All is Calm ……. completely went to a different place. The artistry, professionalism, staging, writing, performance values, etc. were not the end in themselves – they only served, in a superlative way, to draw us to new understanding (ironically, by looking back 100 years!) of who we are, what we do, how we think, how we react to each other, how we treat each other, and what the future holds if we don’t learn from the past. This should be required viewing for everyone, including schoolkids! Please make this an annual tradition – exceptionally powerful, and exceptionally well-done.

    —Greg |
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  24. Very enjoyable. Excellent singing. We’ll be back for another concert

    —Laura Krowchenko |
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  25. A wonderful re-creation of a historic and extraordinary event. This tribute to the ordinary soldier caught up in the politics of an era brings it home in our current troubled world of events. The production was heart-waming.
    Perhaps the number of grey hairs and hidden hearing aids may prompt your audio folks to ensure the spoken voices are clear and moderately paced.
    Merry Christmas, Chor Leoni

    —Larry Murray |
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  26. Thank you so much, Chor Leoni, for a wonderful start to our holiday season. Things I particularly loved: the singing! And the seamless transitions between each piece, and the acting, and the lights & sound (though I’m afraid I do agree with the ‘voices hard to hear at first’ comment, and I’ve no hearing issues). Would recommend this to everyone – it was a perfect length, so well coordinated and the voices! O the voices! You left my group feeling warm, and full, and in need of nothing else. Except perhaps another concert like this one.

    —Andrea |
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  27. Loved, loved All is Calm 2015, the changes you’ve made from last year’s concert made for a wonderful evening. We really love Chor Leoni …. The most amazing choir with the most wonderful voices. I must say I missed hearing the men’s voices at the Nov. 11 concert, they seemed to be outnumbered by the female guest

    —Lois |
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  28. The only thing disappointing was that the performance went by far too quickly. The audience was so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop as we were all so focused on a fabulous, touching performance. We have attended the ceremony at Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, which remains a cause of deep emotion for us when we reflect back to that visit.
    Thank-you .
    p.s. you made it a well worth day trip for us from Nanaimo

    —Louisa Roberts |
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  29. This was a wonderful performance of an amazing, true story; so well written, composed and produced. I can’t say enough about it! My seat was in the 1st row, right behind the conductor (not the best seat in the house…). If the choir was going to screw up – I was going to hear it. But no. They were brilliant. Superb. Loved every minute of it!

    —Lorraine |
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  30. another fantastic show

    —kw |
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  31. beautiful, just beautiful. so real. so moving. i had tears running down my face for half the performance. Thank you for reminding us just how fortunate we all are.

    —ACEL |
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  32. I have heardChorleoni on CBC many times and finally I have seen them!! I had no idea what to expect and took a spouse who was less than involved. BUT for us both it was moving and wonderful and a time to reflect on a simple Christmas that we all should strive for PEACE BEGINS WITH LOVE A friend Paul Birch one of yours but also one of mine encouraged me to come. Thank you all.

    —Lilian Elliott |
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  33. This was my first time ever attendance. Wow! Amazing.
    I’ve heard you on CBC so I know how good your voices are but this concert was absolutely above and beyond my expectations. Voices are outstanding, arrangements, conducting and harmony -priceless!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have won my heart!

    —Frances |
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  34. Excellent performance in telling a very heart warming although sad story. Hard to imagine how any of those men on either side were able to back onto the battlefield…thanks for giving us this story…

    —sharon |
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  35. Absolutely transformative. Strong voices and a simple but effective set which assisted the performance; the starkness of the surroundings such a contrast to the joy and sorrow in the voices. My tears flowed, just like last year. i thought that the audience would have benefited if the actors had slowed down their delivery somewhat, but the choir was perfect! Thank you!

    —Jo A |
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  36. Technically stronger as the choir matures yet further. The use of actors to complement the choral work indicates a broadening of the group’s reach and abilities. Very tight with complementary singing by the various voices creating powerful harmonies in this piece.
    A very moving and highly evocative presentation in keeping with the origin of the work with simple set and costumes that mirrored the stark reality of the time.

    —Marc Boyle |
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  37. a wonderful but emotional story presented by only the best.

    —Jean |
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  38. My husband & I really enjoyed the show. The actors and choir were amazing. It left me with a peaceful feeling. It’s hard to believe there were no instruments, just these beautiful voices. I would highly recommend going to this show.

    —Simone Vermette |
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  39. Excellent performance, but I think the delivery of the spoken words was given too quickly, particularly for an older audience, and not an uncommon problem. Your standards are extremely high and certainly Dianne, whom we new socially, would have appreciated them,
    John R Gould

    —John Gould |
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  40. Our daughter, her husbsnd, my huband and I attended Sat. Matinee. We enjoyed every minute of it. It was very powerful and took you right to the battle field. The singing was extrodinary. We look forward to your nex performance. Thelma Wall

    —Thelma Wall |
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  41. A deeply moving, brilliant performance. My wife and I were unable to understand all the words, although we sat not very far from the stage. We appreciated the direct quotes from some of the participants in the actual events, although the emphasis on the easy-going soldiers and uptight officers was both historically inaccurate and insulting: you may want to recall that the casualty rate among front-line officers was considerably higher than among other ranks. Last, I for one would appreciate more information about those who were quoted, perhaps in the programme notes. For example, Siegfried Sassoon, MC, became stinging critic of the war — not something that was evident from the reference to him.

    —Peter Sugar |
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  42. Absolutely beautiful voices lifted to the heavens and evoking the feeling and emotion of many years ago.
    Incredible. Loved the performance. Goosebumps and tears from the beauty of the production.

    —Candace Keck |
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  43. I thought the All Is Calm concert was great. Only two comments. Both myself and everyone else in our party wished that the speakers had waited until the singers had finished their song instead of speaking over the song. The effect was that it was difficult to hear the song and hard to hear the speaker. My second comment relates to your ticketing arrangements. We booked on-line and it showed the orchestra for the Sat afternoon performance was sold out. When we attended there was whole section of the orchestra on the left side of the centre section when facing the stage that was empty. These were not random empty seats but formed a pattern starting at the front and running back including more seat like a slice of pie. We had to buy seats in the box balcony since there supposedly no seat available on the ground floor orchestra. As performance time approached people on the side of the orchestra were switching seats into the vacant section in the centre.

    —Ian Marshall |
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  44. What a beautiful performance. The soloists brought tears to my eyes. I loved the historical quotes from the soldiers who had actually been there.

    —Val Clark |
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  45. So pleased that I made it to this production. It was so touching and so well-executed. I will recommend it to friends and family for years to come.

    —Malloreigh Hamilton |
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  46. Hi Ian,
    I am sorry the seat map wasn’t clear. The centre orchestra section was sold out, but if the cursor was moved over other sections of the orchestra it would have shown tickets available in those sections. Thank you for attending.

    best,
    Bruce Hoffman
    Manager of Marketing, Publicity, and Patron Relations

    —Bruce Hoffman |
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  47. “All is Calm” was possibly the most profound musical theatre experience we have ever attended. To everyone who sings with Chor Leoni, and to all those involved in creating and producing this production, we thank you with our hearts. Perhaps it was the image on your poster that suggested we might be treated to a traditional stage play interspersed with a handful of songs. However, better than that, All is Calm is driven by spirited solo and group singing, supported by collected and curated century-old quotes from real characters. It was a history lesson like no other. We loved how you stripped down the visual presentation to create a stark and poignant beauty. Halfway through the production, my wife started crying, unable to hide her emotions. She reached for my hand, and together we were transported to another place and time, feeling the intense power of the story through the choir’s gorgeous, tender and rousing treatments of thirty perfectly selected pieces, each one performed with the deepest effect. Upon exiting the theatre, a most wonderful surprise waited for us in the lobby. There, choir members greeted the audience to convey warm feelings of hope and peace. This was a brilliant touch, crowning an already superb afternoon with Vancouver’s internationally recognized male choir.

    —Rick Budd and Doris Freadrich |
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  48. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance and are so glad that the production was brought back for a second year. There is so little written about this Christmas truce that many, including historians, are unaware of it. You might want to think about having it return every couple of years, for we all need reminders that people are still people and are more alike than we are different.

    In addition to the excellent singing, we particularly enjoyed the soldiers`comments and the solos. The solos brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. We also liked the fact that Chor Leoni members were in the foyer as we left so we could say our `thank you`to them.

    —Catherine Eddy |
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  49. Our group of four thoroughly enjoyed your concert. I agree with a previous comment about the speakers talking over the singing -a bit difficult to hear the spoken words often.
    We all agreed that we would have loved to have had an opportunity to have some audience ‘sing-along’ perhaps in one if the carols.
    We will definitely recommend this show to others and particularly enjoyed greeting the choir members in the lobby after their wonderful performance.
    Many thanks for adding this memorable occasion to our Christmas experience.

    —Diana Budden |
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  50. My daughter and I were moved by the performance. The singing and the drama were superb. The production was personalized for me: my grandfather served in France in 1914, under the quoted commanding officer Sir John French! I was taken aback for a moment.
    A few specific comments:
    -we both found the words often difficult to catch.
    -A friend sitting in the lower orchestra told us that he kept hearing both the actors’ voices projected, and then again, separately, from the speakers. He said this was very distracting.

    If I hadn’t had another commitment following the performance, I would have bought another ticket and seen it again.

    —Pam |
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  51. A truly beautiful production, well-arranged, and perfectly produced. I appreciated the simplicity of the staging and the importance of the message. Very moving.

    My Mom and I decided to attend at the last minute because another event we’d originally planned to attend was cancelled. We both agreed after All is Calm that we were awfully glad it was! Thank you for a beautiful Christmas experience.

    -Janine, Vancouver BC

    —Janine |
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  52. This was one of the best concerts I have ever seen. It was full of incredible music and strong emotion. Worth every penny and more!

    —Barb Hinde |
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  53. This is my second year attending the “All is Calm” performance, and it was as moving as the first time I saw it at the Vancouver Playhouse. The selection of music is lovely, especially with the inclusion of the German carols. The vocal soloists were outstanding, and the chorus itself is, of course, exceptional. The spoken excerpts were difficult for me to understand, possibly because of the larger auditorium, or because my ear is simply not adept at deciphering some of the broad accents. But it was a wonderful performance, and I appreciate the program being uninterrupted by an intermission.

    —Verna Semotuk |
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  54. The music was transcendent. It made me feel very emotional. I loved every moment of he performance. I will definitely be back again next year.

    —Trena |
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  55. We found the performance excellent and very moving with one exception, we were sitting to the side of the stage and both found it difficult to hear many of the soldiers comments, otherwise it was very memorable.

    —john moran |
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  56. Thank you for a wonderful performance . Both singing and staging were excellent. It was very emotional and heartwarming. Throughout the afternoon I had memories of two great-uncles who served in WWI and of my own tour of WWI sites a few years ago.

    I will definitely attend again next year. It is necessary to remember those who sacrificed their lives for us.

    —frances anderson |
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  57. I was acutely disappointed to have been unable to attend All Is Calm last year, and spent the whole of 2015 with the fervent hope at the front of my mind that Chor Leoni would do it again for this Christmas season. Our experience of this event is expressed variously and perfectly by all but two or three who wrote reviews this year; we certainly got value for our money and because of our careful and luckily available seat selection, we were able to hear the spoken words well enough. We agree that Chor Leoni should consider returning this event every few years for the enjoyment and education of new and former audiences; there is so much to listen to and learn. There were a lot of empty seats for the night we were there; perhaps a return to The Playhouse would be appropriate for this emotional and thought-provoking performance.

    —Lynne Davis |
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  58. My wife and I were seat Dress Circle right row 9 seats 180 and 181…We both really enjoyed the show and our only negative comment would be that we had difficulty hearing and therefore understanding the actors dialogue….My wife’s maternal grandfather served the whole war in France in the Calvary. He was wounded and gassed but survived the war to return to Canada…..

    —Robin Hemmett |
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