Tonight, I go all choir geek on you, because most cultural events that I'd enjoy are presented in Orlando or Tampa. It's rare we get something I think is culturally awesome in Lakeland.

Two weeks ago, I drove past the local Presbyterian church on my way to pick up lunch downtown and saw the Marquee "Chanticleer-Live! January 28th". Heck, while waiting for my salads to be finished, I even posted on Facebook because I was as giddy as a young girl finding out that Justin Bieber is coming to her town. (If you didn't know I was a nerd before now, what have you been reading? It surely wasn't my blog!). I did the investigating, found out the tickets were a bargain $20 bucks and that was all that I needed to skip out on studying for a few hours.

My first exposure to Chanticleer was in 1983, when my choir director played their version of Tomas Luis de Vittoria's 'O Magnum Mysterium' for us.

The male sopranos had such a pure tone on that recording-and they still do today. Wow.

The first set was filled with various Renaissance and Baroque pieces from many Italian composers.

If you are acquainted with Elgar and Grieg's orchestral work, you might be surprised to know that both men composed some lovely choral pieces, too. Grieg's 'I Laid Me Down to Slumber' and Elgars 'Yea, Cast Me from Heights of the Mountains' were both just as enjoyable as their other works.

The end of the first set was an amazing work that left the audience silent for about 30 seconds after it had ended, we were all so entranced by the beauty and sadness before standing and cheering. I actually bought the "Sirens Call" CD to have a recording of 'Canticum Calamitatis Martimea' by Jaakko Mantyjarvi. It was composed as a commorate the MS EStonia shipwreck of 1997. Below is one of the few recordings I found on YouTube. It is good, but if you are in a building with good acoustics, it makes you shiver when you hear those dissonances.

The second act also had some standout songs, including 'Temptation' by Tom Waits. One thing I must say-all three sopranos have incredible range and pure tone. The encore, a fantastic arrangement of Queen's 'Somebody to Love'. Then, the performers spent quite a bit of time afterwards greeting audience members and signing autographs. I managed to get many, thanking these men for coming to Lakeland.

Now that I'm on their mailing list, I'm definitely seeing them again when they're in town. Heck, I'd drive to Orlando or Tampa-but I'd love it if they come back to Lakeland.



Glad you enjoyed!

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