musica intima
home for Christmas

Dates and Venues 17 December 2012 7.30pm at West Vancouver United Church, 2062 Esquimalt Avenue | 18 December 2012, 7.30pm at St. Philip's Anglican Church, 3737 West 27th Avenue, Vancouver | 22 December 2012 7.30pm at Christ Church Cathedral , 690 Burrard Street, Vancouver | 22 December 2012 7.30pm at Knox Presbyterian Church, 403 East Columbia Street, New Westminster

Reviewer Nancie Ottem

musica intima, a vocal chamber ensemble, is celebrating its 20th anniversary season this year. It is comprised of three sopranos; Caitlin Beaupre, Tora Klassen and Eva Tavares; three altos, Melanie Adams, Bess Albrecht and Katherine Landry; three tenors, Tristan Pearson, Carman J. Price and Shane Raman and three baritones, Peter Alexander, Jacob Gramit and Troy Topnik.

This group has been nominated for several Juno awards, most recently for two Juno awards in 2011 (Classical Album of the Year & Classical Composition of the Year) for its album "into light." The album won the Western Canadian Music Award for Classical Recording of the Year in 2010.

The National Post has called musica intima “the most exciting small choir in the land.” It certainly lived up to this accolade on Monday night. The performance was fresh, innovative and fun. It was infused with breathtakingly beautiful harmonies that brought joy to the audience.

'Tis the season for Christmas concerts and Christmas gatherings where family and friends come together to celebrate and rekindle the magic of our memories. The ensemble did just that by turning the altar in the West Vancouver United Church into a family living room. Hosted by Peter Alexander and Caitlin Beaupre, the other choir members arrived in pairs as if they were the invited guests . It was a wonderful way to start off the evening by staging it as a Christmas carolling party and it had the added bonus of including the audience on the guest list.

Highlights of the evening included "Noel Nouvelet" arranged by Marquis/Hultberg; "The Huron Carol" a solo by Peter Alexander and arranged by Shane Raman; Natus Est and Gloria in Excelsis and Ursuline Carols arranged by J. Danielson.

The selection Carols Wronged, including a solo by Carman J. Price, was a clever way to include the audience again as guests at the carolling party and it also added a sense of fun to the performance.
"Frosty the Snowman," sung to the tune "O Holy Night," was a favourite. This sense of humour was also found in the last selection of the evening, So long farewell.

The choir showed its playful side and the obvious enjoyment the members have in collaborating with each other.
"Birthday of a King" brought Gospel to the evening and "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas," including solos by Caitlin Beaupre, Elizabeth Albrecht and Shane Raman gave the ensemble choir the opportunity to talk about the traditions that we hold dear and which we re-enact every year at this time.

musica intima rekindled the magic of Christmas past with its performance on Monday night. It was fresh, innovative and fun but above all it was a very thoughtful performance.

© 2012 Nancie Ottem