Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) – led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson and acclaimed for its pure, agile, bel canto sound that has made it one of the most in-demand children’s choirs in the county – announces its 2013-14 season, entitled “Legacies Unleashed,” which spotlights the music of Benjamin Britten and the English choral tradition. The chorus also presents two world premieres and a broad range of other musical genres demanding remarkable vocal versatility and technical skill from LACC’s accomplished young choristers, who range in age from 6 to 18. It appears with such leading music organizations as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Pasadena Symphony and POPs, the Harvard Glee Club and Scripps College Chamber Singers, performing repertoire ranging from Mozart and Orff to Britten and Bizet, and performs under the batons of famed conductors Plácido Domingo, Gustavo Dudamel, James Conlon, Grant Gershon and Grant Cooper. Additionally, the famed children’s chorus presents the highly anticipated Los Angeles debut of Camerata Vocale Sine Nomine, one of Cuba’s premiere men’s choirs, led by eminent Cuban choral conductor Leonor Suarez Dulzaides, as part of the 12-member, Havana-based choir’s first U.S. tour.
Among its diverse engagements, LACC offers its signature Winter and Spring Concerts, which include two world premieres – one by Shawn Kirchner, Composer in Residence for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and one by prolific Canadian composer Eleanor Daley. LACC choristers appear in three LA Opera productions at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – Bizet’s Carmen, conducted by Plácido Domingo, Mozart’s Magic Flute and Britten’s Billy Budd, both conducted by James Conlon. The chorus also joins the Los Angeles Master Chorale, led by Grant Gershon, for back-to-back performances of Orff’s seminal Carmina Burana at Walt Disney Concert Hall; and performs with the Harvard Glee Club at Altadena Community Church and the Scripps College Chamber Singers at Garrison Theatre in Claremont. In addition, LACC makes its third appearance on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s prestigious “Sounds About Town” series, performing Britten’s War Requiem with the Colburn Orchestra and members of the USC Thornton Symphony, conducted by Conlon in the chorus’ Segerstrom Hall debut, followed by a second performance at Disney Hall; and rings in the season as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Christmas with Gustavo,” also at Disney Hall, and the Pasadena Symphony’s popular “Holiday Candlelight” concert led by conductor Grant Cooper at Pasadena’s All Saints Church.
Extending its artistic reach to other arts and civic organizations as well, LACC appears at the Pasadena Community Foundation Gala, performs at the grand opening of the 17,500-square-foot Guerin Pavilion and Herscher Hall at the Skirball Center, and joins Burt Bacharach and four other local choirs at the Community Interfaith Unity Choral Concert celebrating the completion of the extensive renovation of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s historic sanctuary.
“Los Angeles Children’s Chorus continues to build upon its strong tradition of compelling collaborations with other organizations,” says Tomlinson, currently in her 21st season with the organization, the last 18 as Artistic Director. “These diverse partnerships, as well as LACC’s own concert programs and the world premieres we are presenting, require an extremely broad range of repertoire that showcases the choristers’ remarkable artistic abilities and strong commitment to musical excellence.”
The chorus’ level of excellence is particularly notable because, unlike adult choirs, each fall marks a new beginning – literally – for LACC, which comprises children ages 6 to 18, as members advance through LACC’s training ensembles to its elite Concert Choir and Chamber Singers.
Los Angeles Children’s Chorus – lauded as “one of the world’s foremost children’s choirs” (Pasadena Star News), and described by critics as “hauntingly beautiful” (Los Angeles Times), “astonishingly polished” (Performances Magazine), “extraordinary in its abilities” (Culture Spot LA), and “one heck of a talented group of kids” (LA Weekly) – is recognized throughout the country for its exceptional artistic quality and technical ability. Founded in 1986 and led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson since 1996, LACC’s roster includes more than 375 children ages 6 to 18 from more than 50 communities across Los Angeles in six choirs and First Experiences in Singing program. LACC has toured North and South America, Africa, China, Australia and Europe. It appears on the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s critically acclaimed Decca recording “A Good Understanding,” and Plácido Domingo’s Deutsche Grammophon recording “Amore Infinito” (“Infinite Love”). The subject of a trilogy of documentaries by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock, LACC is featured in the Academy Award-nominated Sing!, about a year in the life of the choir; Sing Opera!, documenting the production of LACC’s commissioned family opera Keepers of the Night; and Sing China!, chronicling its groundbreaking tour to China just prior to the Beijing Olympics. LACC has performed with John Mayer on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and was featured on Public Radio International’s nationally syndicated show “From the Top,” among other credits.
PERFORMANCES DETAILED CHRONOLOGICALLY
Los Angeles Children’s Chorus makes it first of three LA Opera appearances this season in Bizet’s Carmen, a riveting drama of love and jealousy directed by Trevore Ross and conducted by Plácido Domingo (September 21, 29; October 1, 6, 2013) and Grant Gershon (September 26, 28; October 4, 2013) at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
On September 29, 2013, LACC does double duty, performing with Burt Bacharach and four other local choirs at the Community Interfaith Choral Concert celebrating the completion of the extensive multi-million dollar restoration of the 1,658-seat circa 1929 sanctuary of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles.
LACC performs at two other notable community engagements – the Pasadena Community Foundation’s 60th Anniversary Gala on October 5, 2013, and the grand opening of the 17,500-square-foot Guerin Pavilion and Herscher Hall at the Skirball Center on October 19, 2013.
The chorus joins the Los Angeles Master Chorale, led by Grant Gershon, for back-to-back performances of Orff’s seminal Carmina Burana on November 2 and 3, 2013, at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and performs with the elite Scripps College Chamber Singers on November 10, 2013, at Garrison Theatre in Claremont.
LACC choristers appear in LA Opera’s production of Mozart’s enchanting Magic Flute conducted by James Conlon, which features the U.S. debut of a highly inventive staging created by director Barrie Kosky in combination with the British theatre group “1927.” The production runs for six performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, November 23, 30; and December 5, 8, 11, 15, 2013.
On November 24, 2013, LACC makes its third appearance on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s prestigious “Sounds About Town” series, performing Britten’s masterpiece War Requiem with the Colburn Orchestra and members of the USC Thornton Symphony conducted by Conlon featured first at Segerstrom Hall, followed by a second performance on November 25, 2013, at Disney Hall.
LACC returns home to present its popular annual Winter Concerts at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, where the chorus is based, December 7 and 8, 2013, at 7 PM and 7:30 PM respectively. The repertoire includes Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Friday Afternoons and selections from his extensive collection of folksong settings, as well as a selection of English carols and cathedral anthems from Sir David Willcocks and John Rutter.
Adding a merry note to holiday festivities, LACC decks the hall in four performances of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new seasonal offering “Christmas with Gustavo,” under Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, December 12-15, 2013, at Disney Hall.
The Pasadena Symphony also taps LACC for its sixth guest appearance in matinee and evening performances of its popular Holiday Candlelight concert led by conductor Grant Cooper on December 14, 2013, 4 PM and 7 PM, at Pasadena’s All Saints Church. The program, also featuring soprano Susan Egan, the beloved Donald Brinegar Singers and the LA Bronze Handbell Choir, rings in the holidays by candlelight in the church’s exquisite and acoustically sonorous setting.
LACC’s Young Men’s Ensemble begins the New Year with a joint performance with the acclaimed Harvard Glee Club, under the director of Andrew Clark, at Altadena Community Church on Friday, January 17, 2014.
Continuing its string of prominent collaborations, on February 15, 2014, the famed children’s chorus presents the highly anticipated Los Angeles debut of Camerata Vocale Sine Nomine (CVSN), one of Cuba’s premiere men’s choirs, led by eminent Cuban choral conductor Leonor Suarez Dulzaides, as part of the 12-member, Havana-based choir’s first U.S. tour. LACC’s Young Men’s Ensemble, for middle school- and high school-aged boys with changing or changed voices, hosts the concert and also performs with the Cuban choir. Since its concert debut in 2004, CVSN it has toured to Spain and Mexico, won prizes in the CUBADISCO 2005 and 2009 festivals, and been featured on several film soundtracks.
Britten’s Billy Budd, based on Herman Melville’ powerful novella, is the third LA Opera production featuring LACC this season. James Conlon conducts the production staged by Francesca Zambello, one of the most dynamic directors on the international opera scene, which runs for six performances February 22; and March 2, 5, 8, 13 and 16, 2014.
This spring Los Angeles Children’s Chorus hosts its annual Gala Bel Canto, which shines the spotlight on distinguished honorees from the worlds of the arts, philanthropy and the chorus’ alumni community, draws supporters from across the Southland and spotlights the remarkable talents of LACC’s choristers (date and other details TBA). Proceeds from the event benefit the chorus’ artistic, educational and scholarship programs.
Two world premieres highlight LACC’s popular Spring Concert, which features a vibrant mix of music both contemporary and traditional at Pasadena Presbyterian Church May 11 and 18, 2014. The new works, commissioned by LACC are by Shawn Kirchner, Los Angeles Master Chorale Composer in Residence, heralded as “a major choral composer” (Examiner) who is setting “a new standard for American chorale music” (Culture Spot LA), and prolific Canadian composer Eleanor Daley, noted for her remarkable gift for melody and sensitively interweaving text and music. Other repertoire includes Holst’s Ave Maria for double choir; madrigals by British composers Weekles, known for his exquisite vocal works; pieces by Morley, the first of the great madrigalists; as well as folksongs and art works by Purcell and Vaughan Williams.
Next summer, LACC continues its proud tradition of touring nationally and internationally, reaching a global audience with its remarkable artistry. (Tour locations and dates to be announced.)