By Karen Junke
Seventeen Voyces, Ottawa’s premier chamber choir, is marking its 25th season this year under the direction of founding director Kevin Reeves with the 1924 silent-film classic Peter Pan. The film will be projected on a large screen and accompanied by live choral music plus organ virtuoso Matthew Larkin and “faerie harpist” Lucile Hildesheim. The program will take place at 7:30 p.m. on October 21 and 22 at Southminster United Church. These promise to be terrific evenings.
Seventeen Voyces has presented silent film screenings for many years, including The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Phantom of the Opera – these imaginative presentations attract large crowds of silent-film buffs and music lovers.
The film Peter Pan is based on Scottish novelist J.M. Barrie’s ever-popular children’s story about a mischievous boy who spends his eternal childhood on an island called Neverland. The film stars a whimsical Betty Bronson – chosen by the author himself. The film is beautifully produced and full of memorable characters such as Wendy Darling, Tinkerbell and of course the villain Captain Hook. It is marvelous entertainment for the family and a terrific lead-up to Hallowe’en.
The program features musical excerpts from Felix Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hear My Prayer. There are also excerpts from Henry Purcell’s Indian Queen, Ralph Vaughan Williamʼs Three Shakespeare Songs and Ward the Pirate as well as works by Frederick Delius and John Rutter.
Matthew Larkin will be no stranger to those who have attended previous Seventeen Voyces concerts. He is well known in Ottawa, having forged a successful career in various musical forums, including as a choral and orchestral conductor and educator, a composer and arranger, accompanist and recording artist.
Originally from Oxford, UK, Larkin’s early musical training was in Kingston at St. George’s Cathedral, then as a student of organ at the University of Toronto and at the Royal College of Music in London. His appointments in Toronto, Ottawa and Victoria included seven years with St. Matthew Anglican Church here in the Glebe and 15 years at Christ Church Cathedral as director of music before launching the Caelis Academy Ensemble.
Larkin is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists and has served as a member of its examinations committee. He currently serves as Custodian for Music at St. Andrew’s Church in Ottawa, dividing his time between Ottawa and Toronto while attending to choral, conducting, recital, recording and live-streaming projects worldwide.
Lucile Hildesheim is a musician with a high technical command of her instrument and brings a distinctive touch to the music she performs. Hildesheim is a graduate of McGill University (performance). She has performed across Canada and the United States. She is based in Ottawa as a performer, teacher and examiner for the Royal Conservatory. Recently, she has been exploring Celtic music and performing as part of a harp-flute duo with flautist Sheila White.
Join us for a magical evening and a wonderful launch to Seventeen Voyces’ 25th season.
Karen Junke is a member of the board of Seventeen Voyces.