Chor Leoni Debuts New Professional Supergroup Ensemble with ‘A Sound Like This: Chor Leoni & The Leonids’

Chor Leoni. Photo: Phil Jack

Chor Leoni announces the debut performance of its new professional ensemble with A Sound Like This: Chor Leoni & The Leonids, May 12 & 13, 2022 at 7:30pm in the newly restored St. Andrew’s-Wesley United (1022 Nelson St). Gathering nine acclaimed male singers from across North America, The Leonids’ inaugural performance marks a new chapter in Chor Leoni’s history and coincides with Chor Leoni’s VanMan Choral Summit, which gathers more than 300 singers of all ages for a week of collaboration and celebration, culminating in 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, all while creating musical experiences that hope to uplift its audience and community,” says Erick Lichte, Artistic Director of Chor Leoni. “As we look to further our vision in new ways, we considered the impact our very own project-based, professional ensemble could have inside the mission of Chor Leoni. In this spirit, Chor Leoni is thrilled to present The Leonids, a professional TTBB chamber vocal ensemble composed of world class singers and aptly named after the spectacular once-a-year meteor shower.”

VanMan at The Chan Centre. Photo: Phil Jack

Lichte adds: “The Leonids will serve as mentors to Chor Leoni, the VanMan Festival singers, our Emerging Choral Artist Program, and to the participants of the MYVoice Youth Program. We hope this group will be inspirational leaders for the choral art form and an aspirational force in the arts, infusing energy and engagement for both singers and audience members here in Western Canada.”

The Leonids

Selected by Lichte, The Leonids include some of the finest singers from North America’s most acclaimed ensembles: Chanticleer, Conspirare, Cantus, Anúna, Roomful of Teeth, Seraphic Fire, and New York Polyphony, among others. In addition, each of the nine singers maintain active solo careers, specializing in oratorio, new and early music, and 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: Acclaimed to have “a beautiful sound” (The New York Times), Lagasca is enjoying a diverse career as a soloist and chorister across North America with repertoire from early to contemporary music.
  • Jonathan Woody, Bass-baritone: A sought-after performer of early and new music, Woody has been featured with historically-informed orchestras such as Apollo’s Fire, Boston Early Music Festival, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
  • Sam Kreidenweis, Baritone: A member of Ireland’s Dublin-based Anúna, who has also been heard with Conspirare, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Vocal Arts Ensemble, Kreidenweis’ stylistic versatility, rich sound, and engaging stage presence have gained him praise internationally.
  • Dann Coakwell, Tenor: A soloist with Conspirare, Coakwell’s voice can be heard on the GRAMMY Award-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 praised Zabur.
  • Andrew Fuchs, Tenor: Fuchs is an artist whose wide-ranging repertoire includes an abundance of early music, including recent debuts at the Kennedy Center in Monteverdi’s Vespers with The Thirteen, and at the Lincoln Center in Bach’s Magnificat with the American Classical Orchestra.
  • Jacob Perry, Tenor: Praised for his “gorgeous and stylish” interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire (ClevelandClassical.com), Perry has been featured 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 “impressive clarity and color” (The New York Times), Soph regularly sings with top vocal ensembles including Seraphic Fire, Conspirare, Roomful of Teeth, and more.
  • Steven Caldicott Wilson, Tenor: A regular artist with Handel + Haydn Boston and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra NYC, Caldicott Wilson is also a longtime member of the twice GRAMMY-nominated classical a cappella vocal quartet New York Polyphony.

 

A Sound Like This will feature both solo sets from Chor Leoni and The Leonids, and collaborative performances with both groups. The program’s diverse repertoire includes works spanning the entire breadth of choral singing, from re-envisioned madrigals; sacred tangos; atmospheric Latvian & Estonian masterpieces; and uplifting pop & jazz numbers.

“This program offers Vancouverites the rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s greatest large male choirs coupled with one of the world’s most distinguished small ensembles,” says Lichte. “In a blockbuster concert that spans works from David Lang to Mr. Rogers, there really won’t be another opportunity for audiences to hear a sound like this.”

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

For tickets and information, visit chorleoni.org

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