Nelson’s innovative 65-voice youth choir Corazón will host a world-renowned singer next month.
On Feb.17 the group will perform in concert with Essi Wuorela of the Finnish vocal group Rajaton.
“They are the superstars of the choral world,” says Corazón’s director Allison Girvan.
Rajaton tours the world, has been together for 20 years with the same six singers, and has produced 16 albums.
Wuorela and Girvan have recently become friends through the international connections of both. Girvan, in addition to directing five choirs and collaborating in or directing several other musical and theatre projects per year in Nelson, also teaches and performs across Canada and in the U.S.
Wuorela met Corazón at the Kaleid Festival in Ontario in 2014.
“I’m really glad about this opportunity to share the stage with a choir that I find unique and rare in their way of approaching music and performance,” she says. “It’s deeply moving to me when singers are connected with music and each other with such grace, depth and joy that Corazón does.”
Girvan says she’s gratified that Corazón’s singers have an opportunity to spend time with “such a beautiful teacher and an amazing soloist.
“Anybody who has heard Rajaton knows Essi’s voice. It touches people. Their big song that people know is called Butterfly, and Essi is the featured soloist. The most identifiable sound to me is Essi’s voice.”
Wuorela is on a sabbatical year from Rajaton which, as a group, would be unlikely to perform in a small city like Nelson.
The two back-to-back concerts at the Nelson United Church will feature Wuorela with Corazón and with Lalin, a 20-voice group of the senior singers in Corazón. She will also perform several songs on her own, backed by Don Macdonald on violin, Ralf Buschmeyer on guitar, and Rob Fahie on bass.
The concert, Girvan says, is about the moon.
“The moon has a gentle influence over everything. Thematically, the unifying thought is that the music has gentle influence wherever it comes. Also the Finnish-Canadian connection: the countries are so far apart but the moon shines down on both of us for millennia, a unifying celestial body.”
The concerts are at the Nelson United Church at 6 and 8 p.m. Tickets are available through the Capitol Theatre Box Office at $20. There are also $15 tickets for balcony seating with limited visibility but still excellent sound.
Corazón will travel to the Kaleid Choral Festival in Ontario in March, where the group will be a featured performer.