Performances in Vancouver’s historic Orpheum and York theatres, exciting collaborations, the release of a new CD featuring a major composition by Composer-in-Residence Zachary Wadsworth, the Canadian debut of Ireland’s M’anam with acclaimed conductor and composer Michael McGlynn, and the remounting of Cadillac Cathedral are just some of the highlights of Chor Leoni’s upcoming 2019-20 season, which goes on sale to the public on May 15th.
For 28 years, Chor Leoni’s Remembrance Day concerts have gathered the Vancouver community together to honour our peacekeepers and soldiers and to cry out for peace. For the first time, the choir’s trademark Remembrance Day program comes to the Orpheum stage with a plea to protect all people from war. Works by Canadian composers Zachary Wadsworth, Don MacDonald and Nicholas Ryan Kelly will be featured alongside landmark works by Samuel Barber, Veljo Tormis, Kurt Weill and Bob Chilcott. (Protect Us From War November 9 & 10 at West Vancouver United Church, and November 11th at the Orpheum Theatre.)
The choir returns to the glittering Orpheum Theatre for their first collaboration of the season, with the Arts Umbrella Dance Company featured in Christmas with Chor Leoni: Angels Dance (two performances December 21st.) Chor Leoni’s world-renowned sound and the beauty of the Arts Umbrella Dance Company will come alive on the Orpheum stage in what will surely be the collaborative holiday event of the season. Traditional holiday music from the Southwest, Appalachia, Europe and Canada, sung by the men of Chor Leoni and supported by an extraordinary instrumental ensemble, will set the young dancers of Arts Umbrella soaring into the sky in a seasonal feast for the senses. The performance repeats as Christmas with Chor Leoni (without the dancers) on December 22nd at West Vancouver United Church.
In February Chor Leoni joins Ensemble La Nef and conductor Seán Daghur for a voyage of discovery as Chor Leoni and Montreal’s renowned early music collective unite to sing a program of hearty sea shanties, haunting laments, and rollicking songs of the sea. Collected from the age of great sailing ships and shared as oral tradition, these old songs with roots from America, Ireland, and the Caribbean will come alive on the Chan Centre’s stage with players from Early Music Vancouver, La Nef and the voices of Chor Leoni (Sea Songs & Shanties, February 22nd, 2020).
CBC icon, author, and humorist Bill Richardson joins Chor Leoni as narrator for the remounting of Cadillac Cathedral at East Vancouver’s historic York Theatre. Arranger Cameron Wilson fuses Old Time, Bluegrass and Folk music in an original radio musical drama sung by Chor Leoni. Backed up by a crackerjack band and featuring Vancouver Island author Jack Hodgins’ poignant story of friendship, lost love, and an unlikely road trip taken in a Cadillac hearse, Cadillac Cathedral is a charming, funny, and moving mix of story and song.
For its sixth annual VanMan Male Choral Summit, Chor Leoni welcomes Ireland’s M’anam and internationally acclaimed composer and director Michael McGlynn for their Canadian debut. One of Ireland’s most exciting new vocal ensembles, M’anam is the male choir offshoot of the legendary Irish choir, Anúna. M’anam & Chor Leoni (April 24, 2020) will be a collaborative and Celtic-infused opening to this popular two-day festival. VanMan’s Summit Concert (April 25, 2020) features the soul-stirring sound of 300+ men’s voices soaring into the rafters of one of Canada’s finest concert halls. This concert highlights youth and seasoned singers alike in a showcase displaying the magnificent range of the male voice, from goosebump-raising tenderness to spine-tingling full-throated power. It’s an unmissable event on the choral calendar for anyone who loves the sound of men’s voices!
Described by the Canadian Music Centre as “a delight from start to finish,” Chor Leoni’s C/4 Canadian Choral Composition Competition returns to ANNEX (May 27) for a relaxed, entertaining, and intimate look at new music. Over this interactive evening the audience will meet the finalists, enjoy premieres of their new works, and participate in an engaging discussion led by Artistic Director Erick Lichte.
Chor Leoni’s next CD, features a major work by the choir’s Composer-in-Residence, Zachary Wadsworth. Commissioned and premiered to great acclaim by Chor Leoni for Remembrance Day 2019 to mark the centenary of the WWI armistice, When There Is Peace features the Borealis String Quartet, tenor Lawrence Wiliford, and soprano Arwen Myers. The CD will be available for pre-order with subscriptions and will be released this fall.
Rounding out the season are the choir’s formal At Home fundraiser and the raucously fun Lions Share fundraiser, with those details being released at a later date. Subscriptions will be available May 15th.