December 11, 2019

Three Holiday Concerts At Richardson, McCarter

THE TALLIS SCHOLARS: The beauty of the human voice is the focus of this ensemble, who perform at Richardson Auditorium on Friday, December 13 at 8 p.m.

McCarter Theatre Center will present three special concert events on December 13-15, showcasing musical range and styles to celebrate the holiday season. On December 13, McCarter hosts The Tallis Scholars at Richardson Auditorium with Reflections, a special holiday program of a capella Renaissance sacred music, co-presented with The Princeton Singers. On December 13 and 14, McCarter’s Berlind Theatre hosts a holiday program from Catherine Russell and John Pizzarelli.

The Tallis Scholars are considered the gold standard of Renaissance sacred music. Singing for five decades, the group last appeared in Princeton in 2011. Many of the works on the December 13 program celebrate the Virgin Mary, and the composers represented include Poulenc, Allegri, Tallis, Messiaen, and Byrd.

“As a former choral singer, I have a soft spot in my heart for a cappella singing groups, which is one of the reasons that they have regularly been part of McCarter’s music series,” said William W. Lockwood, McCarter’s longtime special programming director. “I admit to being a fan of Princeton’s own Princeton Singers, and I’m delighted that they have agreed to co-sponsor this concert with us to welcome their English colleagues.”

The history of The Tallis Scholars goes back to the days of The Deller Consort, which was part of McCarter’s first music series in 1964, and has continued through the years with the legacy that the countertenor Alfred Deller created, including regular visitors like The King’s Singers and America’s own Chanticleer.

The two performances by Catherine Russell and John Pizzarelli, titled Billie and Blue Eyes, are at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre. The two performers, who interpret jazz standards and the “great American songbook,” return to the theater for two holiday nights with a program continuing their tribute to Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday.

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