10 Oct Les Délices to perform holiday favorites in Noel, Noel
CLEVELAND, OH – Les Délices continues its 15th Anniversary Season with a new version of Noel, Noel, its beloved program of favorite Christmas carols and festive Baroque music that first premiered as a concert film in December of 2020. Hailed as “The best holiday concert of the year” by audience members, Noel, Noel celebrates the major themes of the holiday season: peace, love, joy, and hope. Les Délices will give three performances of this heartwarming, reflective program Dec. 20–22 in Akron, Rocky River, and Cleveland Heights.
Acclaimed local soprano Amanda Powell joins Les Délices musicians Julie Andrijeski and Allison Monroe (violins), Debra Nagy (oboe & recorders), Rebecca Reed (viola da gamba), and Mark Edwards (organ) for these performances. Known for her versatility and charisma, Amanda Powell will bring signature polish and sincerity to holiday classics from English, Italian, and German traditions. Les Délices Artistic Director Debra Nagy added, “ I’m thrilled to create this program with Amanda, who truly inhabits the texts she sings and communicates them to audiences with pure joy.”
Audiences will be delighted by inventive new arrangements of classic holiday fare like Es ist ein Ros entsprungen and In dulci jubilo and nostalgic Old English songs including Coventry Carol, What Child is this, and Make we Joy. Featured alongside the traditional carols are lesser-known but richly poignant Baroque works including “Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nanna,” a hypnotic lullaby by Tarquinio Merula (1595-1665) in which a frightened Mary rocks the baby Jesus as she imagines with increasing anguish his eventual crucifixion. Buxtehude’s cantata for soprano with violins, Also hat Gott die Welt geliebet (“For God so loved the world”), is a virtuosic work in which the voice and the instruments are in constant dialogue, sharing long, jubilant musical lines.
Nagy commented, “With these performances during the final days of Advent and coinciding with the Winter Solstice, I decided to lean into the idea of light emerging from the darkest and shortest nights of the year. Each part of the program picks up on this idea – beginning introspectively and ending with celebratory brightness and brilliance. We’ll also amplify this effect for audiences with some beautiful atmospheric lighting.”
In November, Les Délices released an album version of Noel, Noel. The CD was recorded live at Herr Chapel at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights in the fall of 2020. Designed as a comforting experience for music lovers sheltering at home in the midst of the first pandemic winter, Noel, Noel proved one of LD’s most-watched and critically acclaimed concert films. Copies of Noel, Noel, The Highland Lassie, and other recent LD albums will be available for purchase at all concerts.
Single tickets ($28-$45) for Noel, Noel and remaining concerts in LD’s 2023-24 Concert Series are available at lesdelices.org
Noel, Noel: Christmas carols and festive Baroque music with soprano Amanda Powell
Dec 20, 7:30 pm at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 50 North Prospect Street, Akron, OH
Dec 21, 7:30 pm at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Ave, Rocky River, OH
Dec 22, 7:30 pm at Disciples Christian Church, 3663 Mayfield Road, Cleveland Heights, OH
ABOUT AMANDA POWELL
Amanda Powell, soprano, has been praised as “the star of the evening” (Seen and Heard International, UK) and “charismatic and theatrically arresting” (San Francisco Chronicle). A versatile musician, she is at home in repertoire spanning Baroque, Jazz, and global folk styles. Amanda has performed internationally including at the Irish National Opera House, the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), the Metropolitan Museum (New York), the National Gallery (Washington D.C.), and The State Opera Theatre in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Her 2019 debut as Messiah soloist with Calgary Symphony won kudos as “the soloist of the night… singing to perfection.” Amanda is a fluent improvisor and has collaborated with such artists as Bobby McFerrin and Jamey Haddad. Amanda currently tours with the Italian band, Alla Boara (Anthony Taddeo). Amanda is on the voice faculty at Cleveland State University. She is also the Community Arts Liaison for the Cultural Arts Center at Disciples Church, Cleveland Heights.