Thursday 13th December, 2007

 

Truly a joy

 
 
 
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Len “Boogsie” Sharpe lends his mastery to Marionettes.

By Zen Dionne Jarrette

With each voice so clear that you could identify each singer, the Marionettes Chorale presented Joy To The World at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, last Thursday night.

After a small cocktail reception by show sponsor bpTT, patrons turned out in their numbers despite inclement weather to see the Senior and Youth Chorales do Christmas classics and contemporary favourites.

A jubilant start was the song I’m Gonna Sing, with a blending of voices that captured attention from the moment notes were uttered.

Shortly after came the dramatic piece Ode To Joy, during which Marlon De Bique and Rory Wallace did justice to Ludwig Von Beethoven.

Inscription of Hope was a performance that gave the hall a pause.

It was a song written from writing left on a wall in a hiding place in Cologne, Germany, by a Jewish man running from persecution.

The girls’ choir did this number and it certainly conveyed hope in the midst of utter hopelessness.

The choir’s send-up of Aida was sheer magnificence, particularly in soloist Jacqueline Johnson. Playing the role Heather Headley won a Tony award for on Broadway, Johnson’s voice was different, and had a soothing quality that still came through in the dramatic songs Dance Of The Robe and The Gods Love Nubia.

Melded with Best Village calibre drumming and intricate choreography from both choir and dancers it was just spectacular.

After intermission, soloist Loretta Boes began Adeste Fideles, O Come All Ye Faithful, and was joined by the choir, which had the audience singing along in operatic fashion.

Then came Ding Dong Merrily On High, a timeless song which the season would not be the same without.

One of the world’s most famous Christmas instrumentals, The Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, was put to words .

They simply sang “Fa La La” in time with the piece, but added with a ballerina and quirky choreography, they made it a delight.

The Senior Chorale took the stage not long after and did contemporary classics, such as It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, complete with tap dancers, and The Christmas song.

The Steelpan Celebration came after and was certainly that when Len “Boogsie” Sharpe lent his mastery on the national instrument to the Marionette’s programme.

Doing Ring Christmas Bells, Gloria In Excelsis Deo, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, in Jazz styling, Jingle Bells and Joy To The World, his hands were flying expertise on the pan.

He kept the audience on each note, and earned a rousing ovation at the end.

Then came the highlight of the night.

O Holy Night, for most shows, has become the piece de resistance, as it takes voices of the highest calibre to pull this classic off.

The Marionettes were in their element when Gillian Seecharan-Scott took the stage and almost made the audience fall to its knees when she sang that very line from the song.

Then joined by Deborah Nahous for a duet, then the rest of the choir filtering in, they showed power and left patrons awed.

It was a moving, beautiful performance.

Ending the show was Ya Es Navidad, during which the choir did a little “breakaway,” and Conductor Gretta Taylor joined them on-stage.

Anyone who went to the show feeling like Scrooge certainly came away with the Christmas spirit.

 

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