The world premiere of a commissioned oratorio by their Composer-In- Residence Zachary Wadsworth, traditional holiday concerts, a project exploring the intersection of choral, jazz and pop music, the return of the choir’s C/4 composition competition, the release of a new Christmas CD, plus collaborations with the Borealis String Quartet, Cantus Vocal Ensemble, and jazz musician Jodi Proznick are just some of the highlights of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir’s 2018-2019 season.
With a libretto by Peter Rothstein and Erick Lichte, the creative team of All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, Chor Leoni celebrates the 100th anniversary of the World War One Armistice with the world premiere of a concert length oratorio by Canadian-American composer Zachary Wadsworth. When There Is Peace traces the ache of the war to end all wars to that moment of incandescent joy when guns fell silent, hope bloomed again, and bird song was heard once more. Canadian tenor Lawrence Wiliford, soprano Arwen Myers, and the Borealis String Quartet will join Chor Leoni for this world premiere. (Three performances: November 10 (3pm & 8pm at Vancouver’s St Andrew’s-Wesley United Church) & November 11 (3pm at West Vancouver United Church.)
Wadsworth will also serve as the choir’s first Composer-In-Residence and will compose additional works for Chor Leoni’s holiday program as well as this season’s VanMan Male Choral Summit. “We are thrilled to begin a lasting artistic relationship with Zachary Wadsworth for the next two seasons. We are excited that this relationship will also extend to our loyal audience. Creating and presenting new works is a passion for Chor Leoni, and we could not be more proud than to begin this residency with Zachary.”
The choir’s holiday offering, Christmas with Chor Leoni is one of Vancouver’s most popular seasonal concerts. Candlelight beckons as the choir presents familiar melodies, glorious new works and joyous a cappella harmonies. This concert includes highlights from the choir’s upcoming Christmas CD release, Star of Wonder.
Audiences have swooned to Chor Leoni’s performances of pop and jazz standards for over 25 years. Now Chor Leoni PopCapella explores the intersection of choral, jazz, and pop music in collaboration with one of Canada’s best-known jazz artists, Jodi Proznick, and her hand-picked band. PopCapella will be an unforgettable exploration of fascinating rhythms and treasured melodies. (Four performances: March 1-3, 2019, Vancouver Playhouse.)
The fifth-annual VanMan Male Choral Summit launches April 12th, 2019 with a concert by ensembles with deep connections to Artistic Director Erick Lichte. Chor Leoni, host of the VanMan festival, steps into the spotlight as a featured ensemble for the opening concert, alongside the renowned Cantus Vocal Ensemble, for Cantus & Chor Leoni. Founded by Lichte in 1995 and hailed by Fanfare magazine as “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States,” Cantus is one of only two full-time professional male voice ensembles in the US.
VanMan concludes with the Summit Concert on April 13th, 2019 which features solo sets by Cantus, Chor Leoni, Chor Leoni’s MYVoice youth choirs, and Chor Leoni’s PROMYS Honour Choir. Bolstered by the voices of the VanMan Festival Singers, the spine-tingling finale features a massed choir of 300+ men’s voices soaring into the Chan Centre’s superb acoustics.
Praised by the Canadian Music Centre as “a delight from beginning to end,” C/4: Canadian Choral Composition Competition returns for a third year to the intimate Orpheum ANNEX for an insider’s look at Chor Leoni’s Canada-wide quest for new compositions for male choir. You’ll meet the three finalist composers, enjoy the premieres of their works, follow along in the musical score, and be part of an engaging discussion between composer, conductor, choir, and audience. (One performance: May 10, 2019.)
Rounding out the season is the Lions Share fundraiser, which transforms the spacious multi-tiered lobby of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for a fundraiser extravaganza. Competitive karaoke, extreme a capella, designer choreography, or touching serenades: nothing is off the table as teams of lions vie for audience support in their quest for glory. (June 8, 2019)