Rick Keene Music Scene; The Lyric Theatre Singers Add Purity to Christmas
Since their inception in 1990, the Lyric Theatre Singers have entertained Montrealers young and old. Christmas is special. Especially a candlelight version.
Forced to move from the familiar surroundings of Tudor Hall ( renovations are taking place), the Lyric Singers took up residence over the weekend at Loyola Chapel on the Concordia University campus. Bigger venue means more exposure for a group that deserves it. More tickets sold means more funds to not only keep the group intact, to increase the already firm legacy that exists.
A Candlelight Christmas, constructed and directed by musical director Bob Bachelor – is mystical in many ways. Combining old school Christmas favorites with Bachelor’s intriguing arrangements; the concert is borrowed but new. Traditional sounds engulf the ears yet the ups and downs of tunes from around the world turn the show into a magic carpet ride. The valleys hung by the choir with care.
Winter cold and ice not your thing ? Spend a moment in Africa with the rhythms of Photo ni fun Oluwa ( Glory to God in the Highest ). The world renown choral composer Rosephanye Powell contributes to the Candlelight Christmas with the perfect upbeat appetizer to the feast to come. Complete with the Lyric Singers framing the audience and intertwining their baritones and altos – the concert is immediately set apart from most.
Bachelor constructed this version of Christmas with diversity in mind. All the trouble in the world requires an understanding of diversity more than ever.
Calypso , Celtic , Gospel, Pop and Chanukah. All represented throughout the show with acute renditions both traditional and rearranged by Bachelor. The sways in moods range from tearful to joyous. Heartfelt to thoughtful. The singers complimenting the musicians and vice versa with a oneness.
Laurie -Ann Jean-Baptiste, the soloist in Sweet Little Jesus Boy ( Altos and Sopranos accompanied) , renders a vocal performance so incredible, so beautiful – the bar was set high for the remaining tunes. Luckily, the other soloists (Katherine Fournier, David Cchiv, Tarik Azgoui ) not only maintained the level of talent, they tweaked and pulled it in different directions. The glove fit the hand. The fingerprints stayed on the souls.
A Candlelight Christmas would not be complete without the Christmas everyone knows.
Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Zat You, Santa Claus? , Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Enough of the tv / film commercial hits to raise the ears of the children in attendance. The older folks smiling with Christmas’ past.
Too often in Christmas shows , boredom arrives with the all-too-familiar hymns and carols. Cool at first with the attention span waning later on. A Candlelight Christmas manages to spark the tinder of melancholy. Igniting the imagination and the kid at heart simultaneously.
Christmas for The Lyric Theatre Singers’ audiences ? Special.