Lovely evening in Roberval in the Église Notre-Dame with full symphony orchestra & chorus, Jacques Clément at the helm, and TLQ.
The massive, modern, church (built in the 1970s) is a huge round thing (well possibly octagonal) - a bit like a U.F.O. from the outside... and very striking both inside and out - huge modern stained glass windows all around on every side.
Plenty of room for l'Orchestre Symphonique du Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean, and a 50-strong chorus...
So much joy - the chorus sang a sweet French song Pour Noël, as well as some splendid Rutter... King Jesus Had a Garden and Donkey Carol.... we all performed Rutter's Sans Day Carol together... and the climax of the concert, The Lion King classic, Can You Feel the Love Tonight? was superb with the chorus creating the African backing vocals excellently... (a première for this bigger orchestration!)
The orchestra performed two exquisite medleys of carols (particularly impressed with the very romantic take on Quelle est cette odeur...? in one).
We performed some a cappella favourites, but it was mainly a delight to work with all the musicians in the building, and to perform pieces we know well, on a larger canvas. Sleigh Ride, Wexford Carol, Tua Bethlem dref, Winter Wonderland, White Christmas, Schlafendes Jesuskind, Süßer die Glocken nie klingen... & Pie Jesu (from Lloyd-Webber's Requiem)... all wonderfully accompanied by Jacques and the musicians...
What a joy!
Talking of joy, one of the orchestra told us she was particularly pleased to see us, as she had been in the OSQ (l'Orchestre Symphonique de Québec) when we did some snowy concerts with them (one February!), and she had appeared at the front of the stage when the leader needed a new string... and was espied by her husband-to-be; thus she felt we had contributed to this flourishing union... (they have two children too!) - very heart-warming...
Even better, we can do it all again in Chicoutimi