Coro de Cámara during recent concert at Fuller Lodge. Courtesy photo
BY CYNTHIA STETSON
Coro de Cámara’s 35th anniversary season opens with “Time to… Heal (Seasons of Promise and Light).” Coinciding with the celebrations of Día de los Muertos and All Saints Day, “Time to… Heal” is a unique program that offers light, comfort, and hope to audiences.
Two Matinee performances: Saturday, Nov. 4 at 4:00 p.m., United Church of Los Alamos, 2525 Canyon Road | Sunday, Nov. 5 at 4:00 p.m., Immaculate Heart Chapel/MEA Conference Center, 50 Mount Carmel Road, Santa Fe.
With the onset of the pandemic behind us, our lives may seem “back to normal,” but… are they really? As we recover from isolation and observe the unrest in ourselves, our communities, and the world, we wonder if, and when we will have time to reflect on our losses and find hope for the future. Coro’s “Time to… Heal” provides listeners with that opportunity.
Artistic Director Nylea Butler-Moore says, “The ‘Time to… Heal’ program was specifically designed to create a safe space where we can breathe together, be together, and be soothed by the healing, transformative power of music. Morten Lauridsen’s sublime “Lux Aeterna” is the centerpiece of the program, and all of the repertoire, along with script shared by dramatist Anne Marsh, contribute to the themes of healing and light.
”The program also reminds us that on the other side of sorrow and grief is redemption and hope. As Morten Lauridsen was composing the five-movement requiem, “Lux Aeterna” (Light Eternal), his mother was seriously ill and died. He found “great personal comfort and solace in setting to music… timeless and wonderous words about Light, a universal symbol of illumination.” Composer Elaine Hagenberg’s “There Was a Time,” with text by William Wordsworth from his Recollection of Early Childhood, was commissioned in loving memory of nine-year-old Lily Kate Powell. Her joyful but tragically short life lives on in the annual “Love Like Lily Challenge” that encompasses fifteen days of sharing random acts of kindness. In 1940, Randall Thompson wrote his choral masterpiece, “Alleluia,” as Nazi Germany prepared to invade France. Although it is an alleluia tinged with sadness, Thompson explains that it is also one of hope. Coro’s collaborative pianist Yelena Mealy performs Chopin’s Nocturne No. 20 in C# minor and Debussy’s “Réverie,” two gorgeous pieces that demonstrate how music can transcend and soothe our souls. The program closes with “May it Be,” written for the 2001 movie, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The song’s beautiful text tells the listener: “you will find your way… a promise lives within you now.”
Coro’s three-part concert series includes “Time to… Dance” on February 17 and 18, featuring the Joe Cox Trio and hits from the 1960s to 80s, and “Time to… Love” on May 4 and 5, featuring Songstream by American Choral Legend Alice Parker and poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Tickets: $25 Adults at the door, $20 online | $10 College Students | Free 18 & under. Available at the door or online at corodecamara-nm.org.