Long Beach Camerata Singers Kick Off 2013-2014 Season November 9

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Long Beach Camerata Singers launch the 2013-2014 season with Singers’ Choice, a two-night performance dedicated to their singing artists. On Saturday, November 9, the Camerata Singers perform at Riviera United Methodist Church, Redondo Beach at 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday, November 10, at Long Beach City College Auditorium at 5:30 p.m. The eclectic program celebrates the artistry and dedication of singers with a performance of favorite repertoire from the past 40 seasons of the Camerata Singers and launches the 40th year of the Long Beach Bach Festival.

The program ranges from opera choruses to baroque motets, modern choral masterpieces to romantic art songs. Highlights include Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Hallelujah from Christ on the Mount of Olives, Eric Whitacre’s Water Night, Felix Mendelssohn’s Heilig ist Gott, Morten Lauridsen’s O Nata Lux, and the African-American song, My Lord, What a Mornin,’ arranged by H. T. Burleigh.

The Long Beach Camerata Singers selected the songs for the Singers Choice by secret ballot. One singer shares that Water Night is an especially rich example of composer Eric Whitacre’s tonality. “The piece was the centerpiece of our first concert with Rob (Istad) as our conductor.“ Another singer remembers singing Felix Mendelssohn’s Heilig ist Gott (Holy is God) in a Baroque-style church in Prague. “The singing was glorious, and the audience was rapt. The joy of singing with wonder and awe, excitement and pride was present. … It was a highlight of my life.”  Another singer remembers standing around the grave of Mendelssohn (1809-1847) in Trinity Church Cemetery in Berlin and singing this piece on the Camerata Singers European Tour of 1999.

Artistic Director Robert Istad explains, “The repertoire for this concert, which commemorates the singers’ artistic history in favorite pieces from the last 40 years, represents a look to our past, but it also inspires our dreams for the future.”

The Camerata Singers’ history begins with the late Frank Allen, who founded the Vocal Arts Ensemble in 1966 on the Liberal Arts Campus of Long Beach City College. After Proposition 13 deleted the funding, he moved the ensemble off campus, renamed the ensemble the Long Beach Camerata Singers, and developed it into a professional chorus. Succeeding Frank Allen as Artistic Director was Dr. David Wilson, followed by Dr. Jonathan Talberg. The current Artistic Director is Dr. Robert Istad, who is the Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Fullerton and Assistant Director of the Pacific Chorale.

Numbering 80 professional singers, the Long Beach Camerata Singers perform a four-concert season and a full-season subscription package that includes the Long Beach Bach Festival, also founded by Frank Allen. The Camerata Singers serve as the preferred chorus for the Long Beach Symphony and the Long Beach Opera, as well as the resident chorus for the Long Beach Bach Festival. The public can order tickets online at www.longbeachcameratasingers.org by telephone at 562-522-1045 ; or at the Box Office, which opens one hour prior to the concert. Single tickets are $30, general seating; $40, preferred seating.

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