Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus presents Christmas in Bohemia

Annual holiday concert set for Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in Sooke and Colwood

The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir perform Christmas in Bohemia on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. (Stewart Jack)

When a Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra member visited the Czech Republic recently, the viola player uncovered musical gems from composers Jakub Jan Ryba and Frantisek Brixi.

Those works were shown to SPO’s conductor and chorus director Nicholas Fairbank, who was so impressed, he incorporated them into the orchestra’s annual holiday show.

ALSO READ: Aloni to lead Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra

Christmas in Bohemia is performed on Nov. 30 in Sooke and Dec. 1 at Royal Roads University in Colwood.

The concert’s centre piece is Ryba’s Czech Christmas Mass. This piece is rarely presented in North America and will provide local audiences with a special musical experience, Fairbank said.

The work is frequently performed during the Christmas season throughout the Czech regions of central Europe.

With its simple melodic themes inspired by Czech folk music and colourful rhythms, the Christmas Mass is connected with the celebration of a traditional Czech Christmas. The Czech Christmas Mass will be sung in English by the SPO chorus, translated from Ryba’s original libretto.

“It’s a charming piece. It’s not musically sophisticated because many of the melodies were taken from Czech folk tunes. [Ryba’s] created an interesting orchestral score where the flutes and the other wind instruments add to what would otherwise be 30 bland melodies,” Fairbank said.

“We’re really looking forward to performing this piece for the first time in this part of the world.”

Sticking to the Czech theme is a piece by Bohemian (Czech) composer Frantisek Brixi. Pastores loquebantur, takes its text from the St. Luke’s Gospel story of the shepherds who visited the baby Jesus.

Also on the program is Antonio Vivaldi’s Magnificat.

The piece, composed between 1717 and 1720, is based on the sacred canticle sung at the end of vespers, in which Mary praises God as she prepares to become the mother of the Messiah.

Magnificat consists of nine parts, three for soloists and six for the full mixed-voice choir. Each is different in mood, key, and tempo.

Joining the chorus are acclaimed soloists Anna Shill, soprano; Tasha Farivar, mezzo-soprano; Jan van der Hooft, tenor; and Nathan McDonald, bass.

Tickets for the concerts are $25 and can be purchased online www.sookephil.ca, area outlets (Sooke Shoppers Drug Mart, Little Vienna Bakery, South Shore Gallery, Westshore Shoppers Drug Mart), or at the door.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

New space secured for Sooke homeless

The shelter will be ready for residents on July 20

Wheels in motion for Victoria bike network extension

Oak Bay council seeks inclusion on Richardson bike lane

Saanich in driver’s seat for residential road speed reduction pilot project

District recruits 11 CRD municipalities to join pilot project to look at 40 km/h residential limit

Victoria baseball club opens Royal Athletic Park for public picnics

HarbourCats go ahead with annual sock toss for charity despite no games

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Surrey in rare position to redefine policing amid calls for defunding

The wheels were set in motion for the new police service in 2018

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

Most Read