Chor Leoni announces the first performance of his new professional ensemble with A Sound Like This: Chor Leoni & The Leonids on May 12 & 13, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. at the newly restored St. Andrew’s-Wesley United (1022 Nelson St). Bringing together 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 brings together 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 Center).
“For 30 years, Chor Leoni has boldly championed its art form through innovative concerts, collaborations and commissions, while creating musical experiences that hope to elevate its audience and community,” said Erick Lichte, Artistic Director by Chor Leoni. “As we seek to deepen our vision in new ways, we have considered the impact our own project-based professional ensemble could have on Chor Leoni’s mission. With this in mind, Chor Leoni is delighted to present The Leonids, a TTBB professional chamber vocal ensemble made up of world-class singers and aptly named after the spectacular meteor shower that occurs once a year.”
Lichte adds, “The Leonids will serve as mentors to Chor Leoni, VanMan Festival singers, our Emerging Choral Artists Program and participants in the MYVoice Youth Program. We hope this group will inspire the form of choral art and an ambitious force in the arts, infusing singers and audiences with energy and commitment here in Western Canada.”
Selected by Lichte, The Leonids include some of the best singers from North America’s most acclaimed ensembles: Chanticleer, Conspirare, Cantus, Anúna, Roomful of Teeth, Seraphic Fire and New York Polyphony, among others. Additionally, each of the nine singers pursues an active solo career, specializing in oratorio, new and old music, and artistic song. For their inaugural performance, The Leonids include:
- Eric Alatorre, Bass: Known for his 28 seasons with the GRAMMY Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer, Alatorre’s storied career has taken him around the world and seen him mentor countless new generations of singers.
- Enrico Lagasca, bass-baritone: Acclaimed for having “a beautiful sound” (The New York Times), Lagasca enjoys a diverse career as a soloist and chorister across North America with a repertoire ranging from early music to contemporary music.
- Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone: A sought-after interpreter of old and new music, Woody has performed with historically informed orchestras such as Apollo’s Fire, Boston Early Music Festival and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
- Sam Kreidenweis, baritone: A member of Dublin-based Irish band 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 earned him international acclaim.
- Dann Coakwell, tenor: 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 Considering Matthew Shepard and the critically acclaimed Zabur.
- Andrew Fuchs, tenor: Fuchs is an artist whose extensive repertoire includes an abundance of early music, including recent Kennedy Center debuts in Monteverdi’s Vespers with The Thirteen, and Lincoln Center debuts in Bach’s Magnificat with the American Classical Orchestra.
- Jacob Perry, tenor: Praised for his “magnificent and elegant” 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 Treize.
- 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 many others.
- Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor: A regular performer with Handel + Haydn Boston and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra NYC, Caldicott Wilson is also a longtime member of the two-time 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, as well as collaborative performances with both bands. The program’s diverse repertoire includes works spanning the full range of choral singing, revisited madrigals; sacred tangos; atmospheric Latvian and Estonian masterpieces; and catchy pop and jazz numbers.
“This program offers Vancouverites the rare opportunity to hear one of the greatest male choirs in the world coupled with one of the most distinguished small ensembles in the world,” said Lichte. “In a successful concert that covers works by David Lang for Mr. Rogersthere really won’t be another opportunity for the public 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 across the Lower Mainland and beyond to come together and celebrate the transformative power of choral singing. The festival will culminate with the VanMan Choral Summit Concert, presented by BlueShore Financial, on May 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chan Center.
For tickets and information, visit chorleoni.org