Dec. 10, 7pm
16000 N. Del Webb Blvd.
Sun City, AZ 85381
Dec. 12, 7pm
Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church
13658 W. Meeker Blvd.
Sun City West, AZ 85375
Admission $10.00 at the door or from Chorale members
|On December 6, the chorale
will perform with Musica Nova as their guest artist during the concert
An English Christmas, to be held at Central United Methodist Church in
| 30th Anniversary Season
~ Christmas Concert
The West Valley Chorale’s is thrilled to announce
it’s 30th Anniversary Christmas Concert! The concert will feature
John Rutter’s Magnificat
and Gerald Finzi’s In Terra Pax.
The 80 member Chorale will also present a set of Christmas Carols
arranged by Warren Cohen, the Musical Director of Musica Nova, and a
former interim Conductor of West Valley Symphony.
The Chorale will be joined by Solists Wendi
Washington-Hunt, Soprano and Stefan
has performed with opera companies and orchestras from California to
Maine. As guest soloist, she has appeared with Phoenix Symphony,
Annapolis Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Baton Rouge Symphony
and Winston-Salem Symphony, among others. Opera engagements have
included Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute with East Texas Symphony
Orchestra, all three heroines in The Tales of Hoffmann with Townsend
Opera Players in Modesto, CA, Cass in Achilles’ Heel with
Showcase Concerts, and Adele in Die Fledermaus with Lyric Opera of San
Antonio. As part of the opera education troupe OPERA-tunity, she and
her fellow singers entertained and inspired children in over three
hundred “informances” throughout Arizona. Wendi twice
received an Igor Gorin Memorial Fund grant for career development. She
is a three-time regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National
Council Auditions in Los Angeles, CA. Wendi lives in North Carolina
with her husband, two daughters and their black lab, Sadie Mae.
||Stefan Gordon made
his debut with Arizona Opera last season as "Frère Jean" in
Romeo et Juliette, and will join them again this season as "Baron
Douphol" in their production of La Traviata. He also participated in
the Arizona Opera workshop of the first two acts of Craig Bohmler's new
opera Rider's of the Purple Sage as the villainous "Elder Tull." At
Arizona State's Lyric Opera Theater he has performed as "Paquillo in La
Perichole, "Eisentstein" in Die Fledermaus, "Sid" in Albert Herring,
and "Count Almaviva" in Le nozze di Figaro. Gordon's discography
includes the Albany Records recordings of H.M.S. Pinafore as "Captain
Corcoran" and The Cabaret Girl, in which he is featured as romantic
lead "James Paradene," a role he also performed with Ohio Light Opera
in the first complete performance of the show in the United States.
Stefan has performed as an apprentice with the Des Moines Metro Opera
and Ohio Light Opera, where he recently spent as summer as a Resident
Performing Artist. Other credits include "Count Carnero" in Strauss'
The Gypsy Baron, "Prince Paul" in Offenbach's Grand Duchess of
Gerolstein, "Le mari" in Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tiresias, "Elviro"
in Handel's Serse, "Demetrius" in Britten's A Midsummer Night’s
Dream, "Masetto” in Mozart's Don Giovanni, "Pirate King" in The
Pirates of Penzance, Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore, and the title
roles in Gianni Schicchi and Elijah. Stefan is in the final year of his
Doctorate at Arizona State. He holds a Masters in music from Florida
State and a Bachelors in music from the University of Utah.
About the Music
Rutter’s Magnificat is
an exciting larger work in English and Latin and consists of seven
movements. Many different styles are represented, with Latin influenced
syncopations playing a leading role in the opening Magnificat movement as well as the
menacing Fecit Potentiam.
Rutter’s expressive lyrical writing is at it’s best in the
slower movements, Et Misericordia
and Of a Rose, a Lovely Rose.
John Rutter is arguably the late 20th century’s most loved Choral
Composer, and this work is Rutter at his best. Magnificat (My Soul Doth
Magnify the Lord) is considered his most significant contribution to
choral literature. This outstanding composer's unique combination of
beautiful melodies, sonorous harmonies and brilliant fanfares are
evident throughout this glorious and uplifting work. The music reflects
Rutter's images of people taking to the streets in countries such as
Spain and Mexico during the feast days of the Virgin Mary, celebrating
with singing, dancing and processions.
Finzi’s In Terra Pax is
a setting of two verses from Robert Bridges’ fine poem,
‘Noel: Christmas Eve, 1913’, subtitled Pax hominibus bonae
voluntatis (Peace and goodwill to all men), which Finzi imaginatively
and skilfully uses to frame St Luke’s account of the
angels’ appearance to the shepherds. In Terra Pax is subtitled
‘Christmas Scene’, and Finzi explained that ‘the
Nativity becomes a vision seen by a wanderer on a dark and frosty
Christmas Eve in our own familiar landscape’. This placing of the
Biblical story into an English pastoral context is entirely consistent
with Finzi’s close affinity with the English Romantic tradition,
and his lifelong dedication to the creation of his own rural paradise
at his home in Ashmansworth, near Newbury.
The two soloists and the chorus have clearly defined musical roles; the
baritone soloist takes the voice of the poet, the soprano is cast as
the angel, whilst the chorus narrates the familiar biblical text. In
the opening section the poet is standing on a hill contemplating the
events of the very first Christmas, the sound of the distant church
bells becoming for him the sound of an angel choir. This image is
expressed in a pealing-bells motif which, together with the refrain
from ‘The First Nowell’, provides the musical fabric of the
West Valley Chorale, Inc. Box 1173
Sun City , Arizona
us as a member, or to inquire on how you can support the chorale,
please call 623-214-2259 (Earl)
2004-2013 West Valley Chorale,