Camerata Nova goes exploring beyond the music mainstream

Camerata Nova choir.
Camerata Nova choir.

From indigenous performance art to medieval meditation, Camerata Nova offers richness in its rendering of lesser known works.

Camerata Nova starts its fourth decade with a season that delves into the deep heritage of choral music while taking daring strides with new material. Season highlights include the performance project, Taken, a musical contribution of national scope on truth and reconciliation; and Isolation, offering new moods and ancient musical landscapes on themes of solitude and contemplation. Once again, curator Andrew Balfour and the Camerata Nova vocal group offer to render singing of richness and vitality.

Major concerts

  • Euro Nova, Saturday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church. Fresh arrangements of classic European carols, with special guests, electro-acoustic trailblazers The Uncalled Four and gifted harpist, Samantha Ballard. Conducted and curated by Vic Pankratz. Tickets are $10; children under 12 are free. Donations are invited for Winnipeg Harvest.
  • Taken, Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 5 at 3 p.m. at the Ukrainian Labour Temple in north end Winnipeg. This power project, curated by Andrew Balfour, displays the beauty, sorrow and pride of our country’s indigenous culture; it features traditional music and premières: by Jeremy Dutcher, a New Brunswick Maliseet composer/performance artist; Lindsay Knight, Saskatoon composer and hip-hop artist and Winnipeg’s Andrew Balfour, offering a dramatic work about explorer Martin Frobisher taking Inuit back to England as “curiosities”. Conducted by Mel Braun.
  • Isolation, Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 9, at 3 p.m. at St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church – as Easter week begins, an offering of contemplative a cappella early music at its finest, speaking to the spiritual adventurer and expressing peace, beauty and restlessness. Curated and conducted by John Wien

Other highlights

  • Camerata Nova’s stellar new arrangements of well-known Christmas favourites are available for other choirs. Works include The Huron Carol, Noël Nouvelet, I Wonder As I Wander, and Coventry Carol. Visit e-carols page at cameratanova.com.
  • Manitoba Hydro’s Santa Claus Parade concert – a light holiday concert with Camerata Nova in the atrium of the Manitoba Hydro building, featuring a Christmas classic sing-along. Saturday, Nov. 12, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • New Music Festival performance Jan. 30, in Westminster United Church. Camerata Nova again performs at the choral night of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s landmark festival. Last year’s festival performance was praised as “splendid”.

Tickets for individual concerts are available at McNally Robinson Booksellers, by phone at 204-918-4947, at cameratanova.com, or at the door. Various subscriptions are also available.

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