“Christmas is a time of joy, love, a festivity of giving, of coming closer to each other,” say the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. “Nothing can tune us into this beautiful spirit better than music,” they add in the run up to their Christmas concerts.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol respectively are the dates the Orchestra invites audiences to celebrate the holiday spirit. A special selection of Christmas songs will be performed along with the angelic Mass of the Children by English composer John Rutter. And the Orchestra won’t be solo on stage as for these concerts three choirs and two soloists will be accompanying it.
The Cantus Novus Epilogi Choir is one of them and is the most recently formed choral group of Epilogi Cultural Movement. The choir approaches a variety of esteemed and demanding choral works and it is comprised mainly of professional musicians from various musical backgrounds, as well as people with a special interest in singing and choral music.
The Epilogi Children’s Choir is the second choir to be part of the series and is comprised of 50 children aged 9 to 16. This won’t be the first time the choir collaborates with the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra as it was again part of its Christmas Concert in 2008. The choir’s repertoire comprises classical works from the Renaissance up to the present, works by contemporary international, Greek and Cypriot composers, as well as traditional songs. For these performances, it will adopt the festive cheer along with the rest of the musicians.
The final choir taking part in this concert series is the newly-established Cyprus Secondary Education Music Teachers’ Choir, under the name of Opus Choralis which was formed in November 2018. It was established at the initiative of the Secondary Music Education Office at the Ministry of Education and Culture with the aim of creating a choral ensemble consisting of professional musicians in order to present major and demanding works of the international choral repertoire.
The soloists of the evening are also set to spread melodious festive tunes. Brisbane-born soprano Ayșe Göknur Shanal is one of Australia’s most versatile classical singers. She has performed in the USA, Germany, India, Japan and Turkey among other countries and has won many prestigious awards and scholarships. She will share the solos with Alex Moskofian.
Alex made his professional debut with the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra in an Italian opera gala in 2013. In the same year, he also made his operatic debut in the role of Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, under the baton of Francesco Pasqualetti at the 15th Pafos Aphrodite Festival. After these successful debuts Alex was invited to perform Escamillo and Morales in Bizet’s Carmen at the Festival de Música Clàssica Castell Santa Florentina in Barcelona (2015) and the role of Masetto under the baton of Matteo Beltrami at the 18th Pafos Aphrodite Festival (2016). Now he returns to the Orchestra for another set of heart-warming Christmas concerts.
Festive concert by the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra with soloists. December 17. Nicosia Municipal Theatre, Nicosia. December 18. Larnaca Municipal Theatre, Larnaca. December 19. Rialto Theatre, Limassol. 8.30pm. €5-12