Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Peace, Nöel & Cute Shepherds

I do not like to swoon over tenors. Give me the mystery of a rich true bass or a uniquely colored but very pure-toned soprano. This year, the Mission Dolores Basilica Choir presents the Saint-Saëns Christmas Oratorio as part of their annual holiday concert, and here's a secret: the tenor soloist just might make you melt. His voice is like silk! Until last week's rehearsal with all four soloists, I had been fairly unimpressed with the Oratorio. The soloists, however, brought out all of the operatic qualities in the work, something which amused me (now privy to Saint-Saens ulterior motive--l'opéra dans la cathédrale) and elevated my assessment of the work as a whole. It was no longer a collection of "numbers" musically parsed according to the liturgical text. The soloists add that necessary layer of drama and sass, beauty and yearning. I'm sold. The tenor sold me.

The Basilica concert is always a very special event. I invite everyone to attend and sing carols with us at the end! (Yours truly plays bongos. I kid you not.)

15th Annual Candlelight Christmas Concert
Sunday December 17th, 5pm
Mission Dolores Basilica, Sixteenth & Dolores Streets, San Francisco
Tickets $15 general, $12 students/seniors, and $25 reserved seating

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