Chor Leoni and the Leonids

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Chor Leoni announces the debut performance of his new professional ensemble with A Sound Like This: Chor Leoni & The Leonids on 12 & 13 May 2022 at 7:30pm at the newly restored St Andrew’s-Wesley United (1022 Nelson St). Featuring nine acclaimed male singers from across North America, The Leonids’ opening performance marks a new chapter in Chor Leoni’s history and coincides with Chor Leoni’s VanMan Choral Summit, which brings together more than 300 singers of all ages for a week of collaboration and celebration , culminating at the VanMan Summit Concert (May 14 at the Chan Centre).

“For 30 years, Chor Leoni has boldly championed its art form through innovative concerts, collaborations and commissions, while creating musical experiences that hope to uplift its audience and community,” says Erick Lichte, Artistic Director of Chor Leoni. “As we seek to advance our vision in new ways, we considered the impact our own project-based, professional ensemble could have within Chor Leoni’s mission. With this in mind, Chor Leoni is pleased to present The Leonids, a professional TTBB chamber vocal ensemble made up of world-class singers and aptly named after the spectacular meteor shower that occurs once a year.”

Lichte adds: “The Leonids will act as mentors for the Leoni Choir, the singers of the VanMan Festival, our program for emerging choral artists and for the participants of the MYVoice youth program. We hope this group will be inspirational leaders for the choral arts form, an emerging force in the arts, bringing energy and engagement to both singers and viewers here in Western Canada.”

Selected by Lichte, The Leonids feature some of the finest singers from North America’s most acclaimed ensembles, including Chanticleer, Conspirare, Cantus, Anúna, Roomful of Teeth, Seraphic Fire and New York Polyphony. In addition, each of the nine singers pursues an active solo career with a focus on oratorio, new and early music as well as art song. For their inaugural performance, The Leonids include:

  • Eric Alatorre, Bass: Known for his 28 seasons with GRAMMY award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer, Alatorre’s legendary career has taken him around the globe and seen him mentor countless new generations of singers.
  • Enrico Lagasca, bass-baritone: Praised for his “beautiful tone” (The New York Times), Lagasca enjoys a varied career as a soloist and chorister throughout North America with a repertoire ranging from early to contemporary music.
  • Jonathan Woody, Bass-Baritone: A sought-after performer of both old and new music, Woody has been heard with historically informed orchestras such as Apollo’s Fire, the Boston Early Music Festival and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
  • Sam Kreidenweis, Baritone: A member of Ireland’s Anúna from Dublin, who has also performed with Conspirare, Santa Fe Desert Chorale and the Vocal Arts Ensemble, Kreidenweis has garnered international acclaim for his stylistic versatility, rich sound and compelling stage presence.
  • Dann Coakwell, tenor: As a soloist with Conspirare, Coakwell’s voice can be heard on the GRAMMY-winning album The Sacred Spirit of Russia and the GRAMMY-nominated album The Hope of Loving, as well as on Considering Matthew Shepard and the critically acclaimed Zabur.
  • Andrew Fuchs, tenor: Fuchs is an artist whose wide-ranging repertoire spans a wealth of early music, including recent Kennedy Center debuts in Monteverdi’s Vespers with The Thirteen and Lincoln Center in Bach’s Magnificat with the American Classical Orchestra.
  • Jacob Perry, tenor: Praised for his “beautiful and stylish” interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire (ClevelandClassical.com), Perry has been heard as a soloist with Apollo’s Fire, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Mountainside Baroque, Tempesta di Mare and The Thirteen.
  • Steven Soph, tenor: A “superb vocal soloist” (The Washington Post) with “stunning clarity and color” (The New York Times), Soph regularly sings with world-class vocal ensembles such as Seraphic Fire, Conspirare, Roomful of Teeth and others.
  • Steven Caldicott Wilson, Tenor: A regular performer with Handel + Haydn Boston and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra NYC, Caldicott Wilson is also a longtime member of the two-time GRAMMY-nominated classical a cappella vocal quartet New York Polyphony.

A Sound Like This will feature solo sets by Chor Leoni and The Leonids as well as joint performances with both groups. The program’s diverse repertoire includes works spanning the full range of choral singing, from newly conceived madrigals; sacred tangos; atmospheric Latvian and Estonian masterpieces; and uplifting pop and jazz numbers.

“This program offers Vancouver residents a rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s greatest full-length male choirs perform alongside one of the world’s most respected small ensembles,” says Lichte. “In a blockbuster concert spanning works from David Lang to Mr. Rogers, there really isn’t going to be another opportunity for the audience to hear a sound like this.”

The Leonids will also be attending the VanMan Choral Summit as guest artists. The two-day festival represents the culmination of Chor Leoni’s commitment to education and community, welcoming choirs and audiences from across the Lower Mainland and beyond to gather and celebrate the transformative power of choral singing. The festival will culminate with the VanMan Choral Summit Concert, presented by BlueShore Financial, on May 14th at 7:30pm at the Chan Centre.

Visit chorleoni.org for tickets and information

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