Two magnificent performances of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana by the Vivace Choir, took place recently. The first, on the 16 March at the Casa Cultura, San Miguel and the second on the 17th at the Teatro Circo de Orihuela. Both were conducted by Tom Pargeter and accompanied by Nataliya Khomyak a local professional pianist and Jean Hancock from England on two pianos and five percussionists who displayed an amazing rhythmic ability under the direction of Santiago Dura Mascarell from the San Miguel Music School.
Tom Pargeter. who has been the Musical Director of Vivace since the choir’s inauguration in 2006 is an expert in musical production and has performed in and directed many varied choral works in England before coming to Spain. He has also been responsible for producing the San Miguel Opera Week ably assisted by his wife Katy. The soloists, both from England were Mary Coffield, whose clear soprano voice enriched this exciting performance and the baritone Arthur Berwick whose versatility in producing a vocal range of three octaves was quite incredible.
The mixed choir of about 60 singers which includes members from Britain, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia Russia and the Ukraine, had been rehearsing for many months not only to perfect the notes and the complicated rhythms, but come to terms with the mediaeval Latin and High German sometimes appearing together in one song, however, this was conquered as a result of hard work and dedication. Extra chairs were needed for the Friday performance where the choir received a standing ovation.
The proceeds from the Orihuela concert where the audience of over 600 almost filled the Teatro de Circo, were donated to Manos Unidos Orihuelo for the creation of a medical centre in Mozambique, one of the poorest countries in Africa which is plagued with illnesses such as malaria and aids.
The choir are now waiting with eager anticipation to learn of their next venture for which they will start rehearsing in October.
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