Saturday, April 16, 2016 – St John’s Anglican Church, Lunenburg
Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. – Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax
The King’s Chapel Choir is suspending its cycle of Bach masterworks for one year to present another great pillar of the Baroque repertoire – the Vespers of 1610 by Claudio Monteverdi. A monumental work scored for soloists, choir, and orchestra, the Vespers foreshadowed the religious masterworks of Bach and Handel, and has earned a place in the history of western music as a revolutionary and now iconic work.
Featuring the King’s choristers alongside 15 instrumentalists on period instruments and a cast of early music soloists from across North America, these performances in two of Nova Scotia’s architectural gems promise an outstanding musical and educational experience for students and audience members alike.
Tickets available soon at www.kingschapelchoir.eventbrite.ca and from the King’s Co-op Bookstore, 902-422-1270 ext. 261.
With guest narrator R. Bruce Connelly
Back for its eighth year, A King’s Christmas is a feast of seasonal song and story directed by five-time Grammy winner Paul Halley, featuring the University of King’s College Chapel Choir performing a beautiful blend of carols from the medieval to the modern.
“This year there are two special features of the series of the Christmas concerts,” says Halley. “One is our narrator, Bruce Connelly, who is a dear friend and long-time collaborator from New York.” Connelly, the veteran New York City stage and TV actor, will intersperse the music with readings for the season, including poetry, excerpts from novels, short stories, and other literary works.
Also, in the Lunenburg and Halifax performances the choir will be joined on two or three carols by the nyckelharpa, played by Kristy Money. “You might want to Google that instrument,” says Halley. “It looks as intriguing as it sounds!”
Friday, December 11, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. – St Ninian’s Cathedral, Antigonish
Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. – St John’s Anglican Church, Lunenburg
Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax
November 7, 2015 - Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax
The University of King’s College Chapel Choir opens its 2015-16 King’s at the Cathedral concert series with a 20th-century masterwork, the Mass for Unaccompanied Double Choir by Swiss composer Frank Martin. Upon completing the final movement – the Agnus Dei – in 1926, the composer put the Mass in a drawer, intending never to perform or publish it. As Martin later explained, “I considered it as being a matter between God and myself. I felt then that an expression of religious feeling should remain secret and removed from public opinion.” Four decades after its completion, Martin was convinced by friends to release the Mass for performance and publication. It is now widely considered one of the finest pieces of modern times, a work of true beauty and impeccable craft, and a deeply moving expression of faith in a secularized age.
This performance will be the choir’s seventh annual concert celebrating All Saints and All Souls. Featured pieces in the past have been Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil (1915) and Requiem Mass settings by Duruflé (1947), Fauré (1890), Schnittke (1975), Victoria (1603), and de la Rue (c. 1500). Halley and the University of King’s College Chapel Choir continue to present mass settings that are otherwise rarely, if ever, heard performed live in Nova Scotia.
April 11, 2015 – St John’s Anglican Church, Lunenburg
April 12, 2015 – Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax
Directed by Paul Halley
With Ensemble Regale, led by David Greenberg
Featuring Agnes Zsigovics (soprano), Jolanta Lorenc (soprano), Daniel Taylor (countertenor), Thomas Cooley (tenor), Edmund Milly (bass)
The King’s Chapel Choir is doing something no one else in North America is currently doing: an ongoing, three-year performance cycle featuring J.S. Bach’s St John Passion, St Matthew Passion, and Mass in B Minor. This year’s work is the famous Mass in B Minor.
The work is one of Bach’s final compositions, completed in the year before his death and not performed in its entirety until a century later, following the discovery of the original score. Now widely considered one of the greatest compositions in musical history, the Mass is a summation of Bach’s lifework, a grand synthesis of enormous musical and spiritual import.
Featuring the hand-picked chamber orchestra Ensemble Regale, the King’s choristers, and a cast of early music soloists from across North America, these performances present a rare opportunity to experience the magnificence of this work live in Nova Scotia.
December 6, 2014 – St Ninian Cathedral Parish, Antigonish
December 12, 2014 – St John’s Anglican Church, Truro
December 13, 2014 – St John’s Anglican Church, Lunenburg
December 14, 2014 – Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax
Described by the Chronicle Herald as “annual magic”, A King’s Christmas is back for its seventh year. The choir will be joined by guest narrator, Canadian actress and author Shelley Thompson, to bring this celebrated feast of seasonal song and story to communities around Nova Scotia in a five-concert tour.
Shelley Thompson is known for her work in leading roles on London’s West End and at the Royal National Theatre as well as on stages closer to home, including with the Atlantic Theatre Festival and Neptune Theatre. She has played leading roles in BBC radio dramas, recorded numerous audio books, and appeared in film and TV. She portrays the character Barbara Lahey in the hit Canadian mockumentary program, Trailer Park Boys. She is also a writer of fiction and poetry, and is particularly known for her Christmas stories.
To hear a sampling of music recorded live at past performances of A King’s Christmas, click here.