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A little French music with Northwest Repertory Singers

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on May 18, 2010 at 10:11 am with 1 Comment »
May 18, 2010 10:11 am


The Northwest Repertory Singers. Courtesy photo.

It’s the ultimate romantic evening: romantic musically, that is. This Saturday night the Northwest Repertory Singers finish their season with an all-French concert of choral jewels from Fauré, Duruflé and the like. Local baritone Barry Johnson is the soloist. And as a bonus, they’re hiring an orchestra for the first time.

“Contracting with the Northwest Sinfonietta is an exciting step,” says NWRS director Paul Schulz. “It’s part of the natural progession of NWRS as one of the premier vocal ensembles in the Northwest.”

The choir, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary next season, is known for high-quality singing and a commitment to Northwest and other contemporary composers.

Hiring an orchestra means the choir can launch into large-scale choral compositions like the Fauré Requiem that’s the centerpiece of this Saturday’s concert. Filling out the “Choral Gems” concert is music by 20th-century composers Maurice Ravel, Maurice Duruflé, Paul Hindemith and Olivier Messiaen.

Baritone Barry Johnson. Courtesy photo.

Barry Johnson, frequent singer with Seattle Opera, Tacoma Opera and Portland Opera, among others, will sing the baritone solo in the Requiem.

“It’s a distinct privilege to have these fine musicians join us this evening,” said Schulz.

The Northwest Repertory Singers will perform “Choral Gems” with the Northwest Sinfonietta at 7:30 p.m. May 22 at Mason United Methodist Church, 2710 N. Madison St., Tacoma. Tickets $18/$15/free for  under-12. 253-572-4831, www.nwrs.org, www.brownpapertickets.com

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