David Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews
Last night, the Opening Night Gala (of the Elora Festival) brought together the widely acclaimed Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Elora Festival Singers, the Elora Festival Orchestra and four superb soloists in two magnificent and large choral orchestral works. The performance took place on the outskirts of the historic village in a mammoth storage barn transformed into a cathedral-like concert hall.
The program opened with moving multi-verse arrangements of ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘O Canada’. The audience felt goosebumps from the glorious choral-orchestral sound that gave a hint of the very special evening that was about to unfold.
The world premiere of Timothy Corlis’ newly commissioned work for choir, orchestra and soprano soloist, entitled River of Life came next. Using the river metaphor to suggest the stages of life as well as its eternal wonder and beauty, Corlis takes us on a spiritual ride down the ‘river’ to celebrate the joy of life as experienced through love. The text is taken from a 13th century mystic poet Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi, Biblical passages from the Psalms and Jesus’ Beatitudes, and the 20th century spiritual Guru Sri Chinmoy. The music is uplifting throughout. Corlis’choral writing has the intuitiveness of one whose life has centred around singing since childhood.
Read the full review online.