19 August 2006 -- PORTLAND, Ore.; SEATTLE, Wash. Artistic Director Alexander Lingas will lead a male ensemble of Cappella Romana in twoconcerts at Kings College (London) on Thursday, August 24, featuringmedieval Byzantine chant and a contemporary work by an Albanian-Siciliancomposer, during the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies.
The concert will be a joint production with the English Chamber Choir (GuyProtheroe, director). Because of the large number of delegates to the congress, the concert will be performed twice, and is Cappella Romana's first performance in London since its debut there in 2004, when the ensemble performed in St. Paul's Cathedral before an audience of over 2,000.
The first section of the program will feature Byzantine music from Cappella Romana's latest CD "The Fall of Constantinople." The Albanian-Sicilian work, "Anastasis" by Tonin Tarnaku, combines Byzantine chant sung in Albanian (originally intended for Greek-Albanian Eastern-Rite priests from Sicily) with impressionistic harmonies sung by a mixed chorus.
Cappella Romana heard this work for the first time--sung by Albanians--during its tour to Rome and to the Festival of Byzantine Music in Palermo, Sicily in May, 2006. For these performances, the English Chamber Choir (ECC) will sing the choral parts, while members of Cappella Romana will sing the Byzantine chant. The ECC will also perform "Prophecy of Symeon" by Ivan Moody, of which Cappella Romana gave the North American premiere in January 2004.
This tour takes place only 10 days after Cappella Romana completed a new set of recording sessions with multiple Grammy award-winning producer Steve Barnett. The music recorded for a forthcoming CD was the 1962 setting of the Divine Liturgy in English by Greek-American composer Peter Michaelides.The Divine Liturgy is the ordinary Eucharistic service of the Byzantine rite, used by Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholics throughout the world.
Dr. Michaelides, 76, who currently resides in New Mexico, was fortunately able to travel to the Northwest to attend some of the sessions and to hear the ensemble sing the music in an actual service at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Portland, on Sunday, August 6, the feast of Theophany (Epiphany).
The CD is scheduled to appear in 2008, following two other recordings that are currently in preparation, "The Divine Liturgy: Byzantine Chant in English," and "Byzantium in Rome: Medieval Byzantine Chant from Grottaferrata."
Cappella Romana's concert season begins in October 2006. More information may be found at http://www.cappellaromana.org