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December, 2004 - Nr. 13


High-Tech Tree
The Editor
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Alle Jahre wieder...
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From The Locker Room
Ottawa Valley Christmas
K-W & Beyond
Opera York Expands...
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Ham Se det jehört?
Santa House Calls
Bach's Manuscripts Disappear
Hospital in Germany

KW and Beyond

  by Irena Syrokomla

Irena SyrokomlaChristmas celebrations of Handel’s Messiah.

On December 3rd and 4th, the Menno Singers, Mennonite Mass Choir with KW Symphony held two performances of Handel’s Messiah. All I can say is that it was a privilege to attend such a performance: the choir consisting of altogether 192 singers as listed in the program, Dr. Peter Nikiforuk conducting with skill and focus. The choir was magnificent, with many known names from the local Mennonite community either singing or sitting in the audience. The soloists were Jennifer Enns Modolo, mezzo-soprano, young, with a clear carrying voice. The soprano parts were sung by Stephanie Kramer, a seasoned singer who has previously performed with Menno Singers. Terence Mierau, tenor, also young with a great voice, and with opera experience. Stephen Horst, bass, completed this impressive set. It was a performance to remember, the audience standing for Hallelujah as tradition requires. I had this strange desire to join the singers and add my voice to this part!

Of mention is a Sing-Along Messiah program in Guelph, I will have to look for it next year.

Menno Singers have two more performances scheduled, April 1st 2005 Silver and Gold at Benton Street Baptist Church, to celebrate their golden anniversary, and May 15, 2005 Mass in B Minor by J.S.Bach at St.Mary’s Catholic Church. For program and tickets contact Music Plus, Mennonite Savings Credit Union or Centre in the Square.


Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery – Portraits Rejuvenated.

Currently and up to January 23, 2005 there is a very interesting exhibition in the KW Art Gallery. It is a collection of portraits by Canadian artists obtained on loan from the Art Gallery of Ontario, McMaster Museum of Art, McMichael Collections and several others. They are impressive, needless to say, showing that Canadian art is of world quality.

I am particularly impressed with La Soeur Blamche by Jean-Paul Lemieux, which changes the colouring and image depending on light and angle, and Dr.Salem Bland by Lawern Harris, a severe portrait of a priest, looking at you directly with intense eyes, his hands folded on his lap. Somehow I did not experience severity in his stare, rather compassion and justice. There are portraits more abstract, some others more traditional. I regret I am not familiar enough with other artists to comment; however, the exhibition is highly worthwhile to visit.

Other Christmas events in the Tri-City:

  • The Phil! is performing J.S.Bach Christmas Oratorio (Weihnchtsoratorium) on Saturday December 18 at 7:30 pm at The Centre in the Square. Laura Pudwell, mezzo-soprano, will be one of four soloists.
  • John McDermott will visit for a performance on December 16 at 7:00 pm.
  • The Nutcracker, a favourite with families, will be staged on December 28 at 2 and 7:30 pm.
  • Salute to Vienna will celebrate its 10th anniversary on January 1st at 2:30 as usual. It may be a sold-out event, so get your tickets now!
  • All of the above mentioned performances are taking place at The Centre in the Square and tickets are available either at their box office or on the web.
  • Waterloo Stage Theatre continues till December 18 with The Paisley Sisters, a musical comedy from the 60’s with its holiday TV specials, memorable hair-do’s and songs.
  • Theatre and Company, showing their usual craftsmanship, has Christmas Carol, based on Charles Dickens’ story, running till December 31st.

So there is much to see and do to accommodate everyone’s taste. Have a wonderful Christmas, a Happy New Year and we look forward to what will come next year.


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