Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Chicago a cappella will present a colorful tapestry of music from the Spanish-speaking world in A Cappella en Español. The acclaimed classical vocal ensemble will bring sounds and rhythms from Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuela. Dancers from the acclaimed Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater will likely add a dazzling visual embellishment to the new program, which is being prepared by accomplished conductor and Chicago a cappella principal guest music director John William Trotter.
Mexican music enthusiasts will enjoy clever a cappella arrangements of several well-loved folksongs, including “Cielito Lindo,” and the pop hits “LaBamba” and “Bésame mucho.” One of the biggest highlights of the concert will be an encore performance of “Las Bienaventuranzas” (“The Beatitudes”), a haunting and atmospheric setting of the Beatitudes from the New Testament’s Sermon on the Mount. This 12-minute work, commissioned by Chicago a cappella from Mexican composer Jorge Córdoba Valencia in 2012, incorporates vocal improvisation, overtone singing, meditative passages, and dramatic shifts in sound and texture to express the timeless words of the Gospel.
On stage at A Cappella En Español, will be the acclaimed dancers of Ensemble Español, one of the the premier Spanish dance company and center in the United. Founded in 1976, the company serves as the national center for Spanish dance, presenting productions in the classical, folkloric and flamenco styles. Chicago a cappella will perform four songs in collaboration with Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre. A select group of dancers from the company will perform as Chicago a cappella sings new a cappella arrangements by artistic director Jonathan Miller, including a flamenco song, “Rosa Maria,” and the bright and colorful “Sevillana,” a folkloric dance in honor of the people of Seville.
For more information about the upcoming collaborative performance, call (773) 281-7820 or visit www.chicagoacappella.org.
Members of the acclaimed Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre. The ensemble will join forces with Chicago a Cappella in A Cappella en Español this winter (photo courtesy of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre)