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Seventeen Voyces celebrates its 20th anniversary

For twenty years, Seventeen Voyces has been dedicated to achieving the highest level of choral excellence, and the performance of musical gems "off the beaten track." Founded by Kevin Reeves in 1997, its small size inherently creates a suppleness and clarity of sound that delights the most discerning of audiences.

Next concert: The Ten Commandments; Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25, 2017; 7:30 p.m.; St Matthew's Anglican Church
To purchase tickets, visit our Concerts page.


Seventeen Voyces is launching into its 20th year with the musical accompaniment of Cecil B. DeMille’s silent classic, The Ten Commandments. Director Kevin Reeves has selected excerpts from Handel’s oratorio ‘Israel in Egypt’ to match the grand scale of the 1923 film. The choir will be joined by acclaimed Ottawa organist Matthew Larkin and the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys.

Not to be confused with DeMille’s 1956 remake of the film, the silent version is written in two parts. The first follows Moses as he leads the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. The second is a morality tale set in modern times that follows two brothers as they differ in their adherence to the 10 Commandments.

At the time of its release, The Ten Commandments was the most expensive film ever made. The grandiose City of the Pharaoh was constructed in the deserts of California. Following the film’s release, the set was lost to the wind and the dunes. It was not until 2012 that a team of archaeologists uncovered the city thanks to a clue written in DeMille’s posthumously published autobiography. In the famed ‘parting of the Red Sea’ scene, a close up shot of a brick of blue gelatin melting is used to give the effect of the water giving way.

This performance will be the most recent in a series of musical-film pairings that have come to be known as a calling card for Seventeen Voyces. Many will remember the great success of last year’s Ben-Hur, a massive production masterminded and conducted by Seventeen Voyces director Kevin Reeves. The choir appeared alongside the Ottawa Choral Society, the children’s choirs of St. Matthew’s and four percussionists.

Attendees can expect to be taken aback at the quality of the performance, the scale of the film and the beauty of the venue.