“Hallelujah!” Guelph’s favourite Messiah returns in-person and fresher than ever!
On Saturday, December 18 at 7:30pm, just in time for Christmas, the Royal City’s own Guelph Chamber Choir (GCC) returns to share Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah with choral music-lovers in the comfort and pristine acoustics of the River Run Centre. A condensed performance will include all of the beloved choruses, making it a perfect Messiah for first-timers and old-timers alike.
Conductor Charlene Pauls enthuses: “It has been an emotional return to singing for the Guelph Chamber Choir. We have resurfaced through the pandemic. We are thrilled to be performing again, already offering three different concert programs since the end of August to tremendous audience response. With all of this singing taking place, we are in excellent form as we prepare “Messiah” for our live and virtual audiences who may join us from anywhere in the world!” She continues: “A few in the choir have sung “Messiah” for almost all of the 40 years that GCC has performed it in Guelph, and in contrast, this year we have several new choir members performing it for the first time. The work continues to feel new as we dig into the drama of Handel’s music, and I must say that after a year’s hiatus, we are all more excited than ever to share this music with our audience.”
This year the choir is joined by a baroque orchestra and talented soloists. They are thrilled to feature one of the two “GCC Emerging Artists” in the inaugural year of that program, Autumn Debassige – Alto. A performer of First Nations heritage, she shares her Guelph Chamber Choir solo debut with Elizabeth Lepock – Soprano, a recent graduate of the doctoral program at Western University who is also Debassige’s voice teacher. Their new tenor soloist is Owen McCausland, an alumni of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble and finalist at competitions which include the Montreal International Music competition. The choir is thrilled that he is able to join them on short notice. Rounding out the soloists in his first performance with the choir is Jeremy Ludwig – Bass, a sought-after soloist and award-winning voice teacher based in Hamilton.
Pauls reflects on two factors which will make this year’s performance particularly significant:
“Firstly, Handel’s “Messiah” is a work that continually weaves the theme of light triumphing over darkness – a message we all truly need right now. Secondly, the River Run Centre will not be at full audience capacity even though the website box office indicates this. We are anticipating maximum 50% audience capacity, which will allow for spacing between seats. In order to minimize audience movement, the concert will be about 90 minutes long with no intermission. We hope you will join us. You will walk away feeling uplifted after hearing this magnificent music!”
Tickets: Adult – $45 / Under 30 – $25 | Live-stream: $25 All tickets available at https://riverrun.ca/events/2021-12-18 or (519) 763-3000. Government COVID guidelines will be followed, including proof of full vaccination, audience and choir distancing, and masking.
Guelph Chamber Choir Attracts International Attention!
Pauls is proud to announce a thrilling recent development for the choir on the world stage: “We were rehearsing outdoors in September – watching foxes, skunks and other wildlife walk by as we sing, and in fact, a picture of the Guelph Chamber Choir is on the cover of Chorus America’s latest issue of “Voice” magazine showing the choir rehearsing at Riverside Park. We have had to be creative as we have returned to singing together – we’re masked and distanced and making it work!”
Looking ahead to Spring 2022: A concert with Three local guest choirs!
“We are excited about our final concert of the season on April 2nd, 2022: “Side by Side”. We have invited three other Guelph choirs: the Guelph Youth Singers, Rainbow Chorus, and the University of Guelph choirs, to join us on the stage of the River Run Centre for a celebration of choral singing. Each choir will be featured and we will be singing several group pieces. It will be energizing and exhilarating to be on the stage together once again.”
To discover more, please visit our website at https://www.guelphchamberchoir.ca
or email [email protected]