You can hear the Mozart Requiem performed by “three countries coming together;” that is, as Blair Tingley explained; conductor Philippe Entremont from France, the Munich Symphony from Germany, and the Gloriae Dei Cantores from the United States. The concert will take place at the Lied Center at 7:30pm on Monday, November 7. Tickets are available here.
Grief and hope
As the Gloriae Dei Cantores tour with the Munich Symphony Orchestra across the Midwest, Tingley says: “My hope is that those who experienced loss in Joplin, Missouri this past year have some inspiration from this music and that we share a vision of heaven with them.”
She wishes the same for the Lincoln audience:
“I hope they’ll take away the hope and inspiration from the text. Mozart’s Requiem is full of hopeful, beautiful phrases, and the music beautifully captures the grief that people suffer and the hope of the Resurrection. I hope that the audience can take away a glimpse of heaven.
This Requiem is unique in that the music serves the text. Sometimes requiems can be so grief laden, but Mozart’s requiem has that perfect transition of understanding the pain of the loss, but reminding us of ‘Lux Aeterna,’ reminding us of ‘Eternal Light.'”
Despite a long time on the road giving the same performance, Tingley declares that it has been “a great cultural experience. None of us are tired of it; the Mozart requiem is still fresh and inspiring… and we come together to share that experience with the audience.”
Singers to the Glory of God
The Gloriae Dei Cantores call Cape Cod, Massachusets, their home, and besides touring nationally and internationally, the choir sings weekly services at an ecumenical church. Tingley said that the Gloriae Dei Cantores “sing basically all sacred music from Gregorian chant to 20th century works.” Over the years, singers have studied with leading experts in many fields, and thus, they have command a vast repertoire.
But, it is not only about their touring career. While the singers enjoy the experience of touring, their time in churches is as much a prayer as a performance. When asked if Gloriae Dei Cantores, which means Singers to the Glory of God, is more than just a name, Tingley unhesitatingly replied: “Absolutely.” And she continued:
“All of the singers come from an ecumenical Benedictine community in Massachusetts. We worship and sing together. We sing the Ordinaries and Propers of the Mass as well the Liturgy of the Hours. Professionally, we’re known as an artistic choir and recording choir, but with every piece of sacred music that we sing, we are singing to convey the depth of the texts and share that experience with people who attend our performances.”
A woven trapestry
Blair Tingley has been a member of the Gloriae Dei Cantores for “a wonderful 23 years.” She auditioned when she was 21, and she said that she always knew she wanted to sing in the choir. When asked what her most memorable experience has been with the choir, Tingley stated: “It’s almost like a mosaic of experiences that have been really enriching.” She was “profoundly enriched and inspired by our tours of Eastern Europe and Russia,” because, “I realized how much I personally had to learn from different cultures.” Tingley felt that by singing in Moscow, Siberia, Slovakia, and stages and churches in many cities and countries of Eastern Europe, the singers were able to experience “Moscow just at the cusp of Russian religious freedom” since “touring internationally started before the Berlin Wall came down.”
“The choir sings in 18 languages.” So, in order to prepare for international tours, “we would learn the language of that country—to sing it as authentically as possible, both with pronunciation and musical innuendo to really convey the meaning of the text.”
Besides the international tours of the 1980s, Tingley says that “every experience has been really enriching and has woven into this fabric that provides the background that is what we are and what we do.” To Tingley, performing “continues to be fresh and inspiring. There’s something special that happens between the performer and the audience—a shared experience that happens.”
Wherever they go, to Europe or, as on this tour, as far west as Nebraska and Kansas City, the singers may experience long days, but, as Tingley said, they are “happy to get far and wide to share these experiences with people.” So far on this tour, the response has been “really, really warm and encouraging…. Something special has happened in each performance between audience and performers.”
Monday night’s performance in Lincoln is sure to be no different: a wonderful experience for all!
Visit the Gloriae Dei Cantores website for more information on their background and recordings, and be sure not to miss Monday’s performance at the Lied Center.
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