Our Christmas concerts began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on December 9, where the magnificent St. Joseph Chapel was filled to the brim for “Puer Natus Est.” The audience greeted our processing musicians with whoops and cries of “bravo.” The Boston crew was assisted by the Milwaukee Chorale Artists (under the direction of Sharon Hansen), who sounded as smooth and fine as we remembered them from our previous collaboration “Powerful, spirited, and exquisitely controlled singing,” said Milwaukee Magazine. A lovely experience for all involved.
The feeling in the Schenectady, N.Y., hall a few days later was quieter and sadder than in Milwaukee, as we premièred the 2012 production of “Brotherhood of the Star.” The terrible shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, had just taken place, and the tenor of the Christmas celebration, inevitably, had changed. Joel Cohen began the evening (as he did in all subsequent performances) by dedicating the concert to the children of the world.
And so, we proceeded. And the magic of the Spanish and New World repertoire, the irrepressible life force that is in that music, took hold. As in each performance of “Brotherhood,” the audience rose to its feet as one person at concert’s end. Our Camerata crew gave its all, and the vital contributions by Les Fleurs des Caraïbes gave the rhumbas and guarachas the ring of eternity. Hope for a better tomorrow prevailed. “Wonderful performances,” said the Boston Musical Intelligencer. And our best wishes for 2013!
a. soloists of Puer Natus Est, Anne Harley, Anne Azéma, and Deborah Rentz-Moore
b. At a rehearsal with Joel Cohen and Les Fleurs des Caraïbes