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Chanticleer returns to Brooklyn Oratory for concert extolling mysteries of the moon

March 29, 2016 By Francesca Norsen Tate Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Chanticleer, as pictured during its February 2015 concert at the Brooklyn Oratory. Photo credit: Gerri Hernandez
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The acclaimed group Chanticleer will return to the Brooklyn Oratory next week, and it is bringing with it the moon.

This versatile 12-member professional a cappella male ensemble, based in San Francisco, performed a sold-out, standing-room-only concert at the Oratory in February 2015. This year, Chanticleer singers on tour brings its “Over the Moon” program to the Oratory in Downtown Brooklyn in the group’s only borough appearance.

The Grammy Award-winning Chanticleer made its debut on June 27, 1978 before a capacity audience at San Francisco’s historic Old Mission Dolores, according to the ensemble’s website. Its name is derived from the “clear singing” rooster in “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale,” a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer. The poet had actually borrowed that word from the earlier French tale, “Renard the Fox.” “Chanticleer” is a combination of the French words chanter (“to sing”) and clair (“clear”). The group has male sopranos and countertenors, as well as the more familiar male vocal ranges of tenor, baritone and bass.

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The Brooklyn performance, scheduled for Tuesday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m., will be the second in the Oratory’s three-concert series, which is titled “Laetare: Concerts to stir the soul & enliven the spirit!” The Chanticleer concert itself is themed “Over the Moon.”

Chanticleer will bring audiences the moon — the symbol in song, story, poetry and legend of powerful and mysterious female energy, which determines and regulates so much of life on planet earth. The ensemble will sing early music statements by Monteverdi, Di Lasso, Desprez and Parsons. These songs give way to the more romantic yearnings of Elgar and Mahler.  Equally fascinated by the moon’s lure are contemporary composers, such as the Finnish Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Stephen Paulus, Muhly and Bates, whose compositions for Chanticleer are audience favorites.

“Over the Moon” will include treatments of jazz standards by Mancini and Bart Howard, and more recent songs by Elbow and others. “Three Moon Songs,” newly written for Chanticleer by internationally acclaimed composer Nico Muhly are a special feature.

More information is available on the Oratory’s website and you can purchase tickets here.  Tickets can also be purchased onsite at the Oratory following the weekend masses on April 2 and April 3.

Tickets are $95. The generosity of a donor has enabled the Oratory to offer senior and student special pricing at $50. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.

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