About the composer
When There Is Peace marks the first work from Chor Leoni’s newly-appointed Composer-in-Residence Zachary Wadsworth. Wadsworth has been called a composer of “fresh, deeply felt and strikingly original” music by the Washington Post and enjoys regular performances and premieres of his works around the world. His compositions have been heard at the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Center, and Tokyo’s Takinogawa Hall, and they have been performed by such ensembles as the choir of Westminster Abbey, the Yale Philharmonia, and the Swedish Chamber Choir. As the 2012-13 fellow of the Douglas Moore Foundation for American Opera, Wadsworth was in residence at the Metropolitan Opera and the Santa Fe Opera. 2014 marked his Carnegie Hall debut, and 2015 marked his debut at the National Opera Center.
About the librettists
The libretto for the work is a collage of First World War poems and found texts, featuring the writings of nearly 20 individuals. Chor Leoni Artistic Director Erick Lichte and theatre director Peter Rothstein have collaborated on the creation of this libretto. Lichte and Rothstein are the noted collaborative creators of All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, which makes its off-Broadway debut this year in a two-month run of shows in Greenwich Village. Vancouver audiences will remember All is Calm as presented by Chor Leoni which sold out six performances at the Vancouver Playhouse and received two encore performances at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Chor Leoni and Remembrance Day
Commemorative Remembrance Day concerts have been a keystone of Chor Leoni’s season since the founding of the choir in 1992. “I feel that Chor Leoni’s relationship with Remembrance Day has moved beyond a merely artistic endeavour and has become a true act of civic service for the people of the Lower Mainland,” says Erick Lichte. “The importance of this year’s 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice called for a unique and expanded project. Drawing upon funds from the Diane Loomer Commissioning Fund, the choir was able to commission composer Zachary Wadsworth to write a rare concert-length oratorio for men’s voices.”
About Chor Leoni
Praised for its excellent intonation and wide palette of vocal colour, Chor Leoni Men’s Choir is one of the most active amateur ensembles in North America and performs more than 35 concerts a season to over 15,000 patrons. With stylistic grace and an adventurous spirit, Vancouver’s Singing Lions have enriched and transformed people’s lives through singing for over twenty-five years. The choir is fortunate and privileged to sing on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
The ensemble has been honoured with many awards at the national and international level including five 1st place awards in the CBC National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs. In July 2018 Chor Leoni competed in the Singapore International Choral Festival, won gold medals in all their categories, and was one of eight choirs invited to sing in the Grand Prix. A few days later, the choir won two gold medals and Choir Championships in both of their categories at the Bali International Choral Festival and was invited to sing in the Grand Prix. In 2012 Chor Leoni won a dozen awards at Italy’s 51st Concorso Internazionale di Canto Corale “Seghizzi,” including 1st place trophies in the 19th and 20th Century categories, two Audience Favourite awards, and second place in the competition’s overall Grand Prix. Chor Leoni’s Wandering Heart recording has been a featured CD for Minnesota Public Radio and WFMT Chicago, and received a perfect, five-star rating from the UK’s prestigious Choir and Organ magazine.