LA Master Chorale's European Tour

Follow the LA Master Chorale on Tour with the LA Philharmonic – March 2013

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Last Tour Stop – Lincoln Center

This morning, 48 singers of the Los Angeles Master Chorale took the stage of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for our  final dress rehearsal of the tour.  This tour has been quite a magical and memorable journey for the Chorale. Tonight, we present the last and final performance on Tour to a sold out house audience. As we prepare for this final performance, and reflect on the artistic high points of the tour it is also important for us to take the opportunity to thank and acknowledge the Los Angeles Philharmonic for asking us to collaborate on this incredible project with them and for our organization to be able to lend our artistic contribution – our voices – to this monumental work.

IMG_3901It has been such a pleasure for all of us to have spent the past two and half weeks collaborating on such a high artistic level with such an incredible team of friends and artists – old and new –  Gustavo Dudamel, Peter Sellars, John Adams, our very own Grant Gershon, all the players of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, 6 fabulous principal singers – Kelly O’Connor, Tamara Mumford, Russell Thomas… the Three (Counter)Tenors! – Daniel Bubeck Brian Cummings, and Nathan Medley… 3 majestically beautiful dancers – Michael Schumacher, Troy Ogilvie, and Anani Sanouvi, and a small army of incredibly talented, patient, and reliable artistic and production staff that have kept all of the cogs of this artistic machine moving in the right direction (across an ocean and four countries!)

Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center - home of our final tour performance.

Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center – home of our final tour performance.

Tomorrow morning we board a jet at JFK Airport to head back to Los Angeles, where many of our singers will “hit the ground running” preparing for Easter Services this coming weekend.

Hopefully, our singers will get a little bit of post-tour, post-Easter weekend rest, and a few loads of laundry done before Grant and the singers begin the process all over again, next Tuesday, as they begin preparations for our next concert  in a few weeks, bringing you the music of Poulenc and Vaughan Williams.

We hope you have enjoyed our updates along the way. We will try to put together a post-tour wrap-up – with more pictures from the Tour when we get back next week. Thanks for following along!


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Tour Party in NY

Yesterday, the singers had a free day in New York, and due to the wet and chilly weather, most sought refuge among some of New York’s finer indoor activities – museums and shopping.

However, last night the singers were warmed by the gracious hospitality of LAMC Board Chair David Gindler and his wife Kiki. The Gindlers hosted a delicious reception and dinner at A Voce Restaurant on Columbus Circle. Everyone had an absolutely wonderful time reminiscing about Tour highlights and soaking in what an important and impactful experience this has been for each of us – and the organization as a whole. The Singers and staff were also joined by a few friends, LAMC Board member Ann Ehringer and Marjorie Lindbeck. Much food, beverage and frivolity ensued, and a good time was had by all.

And, how do a group of grateful singers thank their gracious hosts for this dining treat? Why, with song of course! Much to the surprise (and likely delight of the rest of the restaurant), the entire ensemble of singers joined an inspirational and spontaneous chorus of Wana Baraka (written by our own Shawn Kirchner of course!). It was an incredibly moving experience for all.

Here are a few photos from the dinner, last evening. Today, we head into our last staging rehearsal of the tour, as we prepare for our performance tomorrow evening at Avery Fisher Hall.

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Resounding Applause in Paris


The Salle Pleyel in Paris

Unfortunately for most of us, Paris was the shortest leg of the tour. Due to the very busy schedule of the Salle Pleyel, we had one fewer day of rehearsals in Paris. However, not to be daunted, and relying on our musician’s incredible talent and professionalism, the maestro, singers, players, and everyone arose to the occasion and again – gave an incredible performance to a heartily appreciative Paris audience. As is sometimes the habit – on the Continent  – at the conclusion of the performance, the audience began their highly enthusiastic applause that quickly grew into a unified, rhythmic wave of ovation, with the entire audience clapping along in the same rhythm – apparently, a very high sign of praise from Parisian audiences!

While brief, we had a great stay in Paris and caught as many of the sites as we all could squeeze into the stay. This of course, concludes the European leg of our tour.


Boarding the bus at our hotel to depart Paris.

We headed en masse to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to wave good by to our delightful and intrepid European Tour Courier – Marianne Swienink-Havard who guided us safely around Europe and treated us to wonderful commentary on the bus and helpful information along the way. We boarded our flight and arrived safely back in the Good Ole’ U-S-of-A at JFK airport late last evening. Today, the singers have a free day to rest readjust to the time zone (and apparently with snow on the way!), before we head to Lincoln Center tomorrow afternoon to prepare for our final performance of the Tour on Wednesday Evening.

Tonight, we look forward to being treated with a hosted party in New York for the Singers and several of the Board members of the LA Master Chorale. Check back tomorrow for pictures from our free day in New York.

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Free Day in Paris

Bonjour, à partir de Paris!

Where to start with only one free day in Paris? The LAMC singers were greeted with the warmest weather of the tour so far, on our free day.  Temperatures moved up into the middle 50’s with a mixture of clouds and sun all day… and no rain!

The singers and guests headed out across nearly every Arrondissement (neighborhood) of the city. Highlights for many included taking the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower, others climbed the steps of the tower of Notre Dame. Many strolled through the gardens, the neighborhoods, the museums, and of course stopped to catch their breath, re-caffeinate, and soak in the Parisian street culture at curb-side cafés and restaurants.

Here is just a brief sampling of some of their highlights…. we’ll add more pictures as they come in!

Au Revoir!

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Lucerne Recap

We had a wonderful stay in Lucerne, nestled between the lake and the snow-capped alps. The concert was incredibly well received by the Swiss audiences and the singers and all of the performers continue to ratchet up their performances, making some incredible art and breathing wonderful life into this new masterpiece of John Adams.

After our free day and rehearsal day, the LA Philharmonic sponsored a “little” gathering for the entire tour company – all of the LA Phil players, the Master Chorale and our wonderfully supportive tour patrons and Board Members. We were treated to a tasty swiss dinner of brats and all the trimmings… and a live combo band provided swiss music to add to the revelry.

The day after the performance, we did our last minute shopping for chocolate and watches, took a brisk stroll around the lake, and headed to Zurich to continue our journey on to the next performance in Paris…

Au Revoir!

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Chorister Staging Rehearsal at the KKL

Yesterday morning, the singers had their first experience singing in the swanky KKL Auditorium – an interior awash in white and natural wood tones with pretty wonderful acoustics. Unfortunately, due to the huge size of the whole production and limited rehearsal time the Singers will perform the work from their version of the “Choral Benches” similar to our own Disney Hall. However, with creativity and flexibility, Peter Sellars, Grant and the Singers are able to pretty much replicate the entire staging that occurred on the flat stages of the Disney Hall and Barbican into the modified staging of the seats in the KKL.

Here are a few shots from that rehearsal in the KKL, courtesy to the KKL.  We are looking forward to the performance this evening!