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Seventeen Voyces' 2017-18 Season inspiring!

Seventeen Voyces’s tremendous 2017-18 season will begin dramatically with a presentation at St. Matthew’s of Franz Joseph Haydn’s stunning Mass in Time of War on Remembrance Day, Sat. Nov. 11, at 7:30 pm. Paired with the highly evocative work, will be Kevin Reeves’ Somewhere in France: Love letters from the trenches”, a multi-media event about the First World War.

For the first time, the choir’s subscription series includes four concerts (it usually is three) All will be directed by Kevin Reeves, the choir’s founder and will be at St. Matthew’s Church, 130 Glebe Ave. near Bank St. The other concerts are “Carols that Stopped the War” on Sat. Dec. 9 at 7:30 pm (also being performed at Ashbury College Chapel on the 10th), Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, on Fri. Feb., 23 and Sat. Feb. 24 and “Jewels of the Italian Baroque” featuring the Ottawa Baroque Consort on April 27.

Haydn’s Mass was written in 1796 when Austria was heading into war. It will be the largest orchestra Seventeen Voyces has hired, since it requires all the wind and string instruments, trumpets, french horns and drums. Also joining the choir will be Matthew Larkin’s new choir, the Caelis Academy Ensemble, and a local quartet of superb singers.

Haydn was an intensely religious man and it is believed that the mass, also known as the “Paukenmesse”, expresses an anti-war sentiment. That sentiment will be echoed in the choir’s carol presentation which refers to the remarkable, though sadly brief, stoppage of war around Christmas, 1914. Unofficial truces along the western front included exchanges of food, souvenirs and carol singing. Men from both sides left their trenches and met in “no man’s land”. As one survivor of the war recalled, “It was a short peace in a terrible war”.