A heavy splash of eter­nal

The King’s Chapel Choir serves up an­other help­ing of Ital­ian com­poser Mon­teverdi.


Sun­day, April 15, 4pm Cathe­dral Church of All Saints 1330 Cathe­dral Lane $15-$100 tick­ethal­i­fax.com


to switch up your Sun­day de­vo­tion­als this week­end? Well, the Univer­sity of King’s Col­lege Chapel Choir is an­swer­ing your prayers with The Splen­dour of Venice: Mu­sic For San Marco.

Fol­low­ing a sold-out per­for­mance of Ital­ian com­poser Clau­dio Mon­teverdi’s Ves­pers of 1610, the choir re­turns ac­com­pa­nied by a 14-piece baroque band, six vo­cal soloists and boy so­pra­nos to fill the Cathe­dral Church of All Saints with sounds from the “fa­ther” of opera’s glo­ri­ous Selva morale e spir­i­tuale.

Chapel choir di­rec­tor Paul Hal­ley has worked tire­lessly to source baroque mu­si­cians from as far as Bos­ton and sus­pects their sec­ond Mon­teverdi con­cert will be suc­cess­ful, given the level of acous­tic au­then­tic­ity they’re of­fer­ing. Fea­tur­ing now-un­com­mon in­stru­ments such as a the­o­rbo, sack­but and cor­net­tos, com­bined with church acous­tics and choral vo­cals, “it’s a sim­i­lar ef­fect to what the peo­ple of St. Mark’s Venice would have ex­pe­ri­enced,” says Hal­ley.

Trans­lated as “a moral and spir­i­tual for­est,” the Selva is a ret­ro­spec­tive work Mon­teverdi com­piled dur­ing his fi­nal days. While the col­lec­tion in its en­tirety is dif­fi­cult to fit into one con­cert, the choir prom­ises to de­liver 17th-cen­tury drama and majesty, and take au­di­ences to new heights. The au­di­ence “felt trans­ported to a place where there was more time, beauty and flow,” says Hal­ley of the pre­vi­ous con­cert. “Many peo­ple said that feel­ing lasted for sev­eral weeks.”

With those types of mu­si­cal sen­sa­tions, it’s safe to say the choir is due for an­other smash­hit per­for­mance this Sun­day. How­ever, Hal­ley makes it clear that re­gard­less of at­tendee turnout num­bers, the goal re­mains the same.

“The whole idea of per­form­ing this mu­sic is to of­fer peo­ple a glimpse of heaven in our short time on earth,” he says. “We’re try­ing to break up the mun­dane with a heavy splash of the eter­nal—if we can do that, I’ll be happy.”

Holly Stovens (r) in Aliens with Knives.

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