Chor Leoni Sets Sail Again with Montreal’s Famed Folk Ensemble La Nef in – The Return Voyage –
Following 2020 sold out engagement, acclaimed ensembles reunite to dive deeper into rich repertoire of sea songs and shanties
Vancouver, BC – JUNO-nominated Chor Leoni joins with Montreal’s award-winning La Nef for The Return Voyage, a rousing night of nautical songs, on February 16, 2024 at 7:30pm and February 17, 2024 at 2pm and 5pm at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United (1022 Nelson St). The program encapsulates stories of those lives led abroad in the 18th and 19th centuries, embodying the thrill of dangerous adventure, a longing for loved ones at home, and the joys of seeing the world. The concert features arrangements from renowned Shantyman Seán Dagher whose rich, full-throated voice leads the seven members of La Nef alongside more than 60 voices of Choir Leoni on a rollicking voyage of high seas harmonies.
“Chor Leoni and La Nef are a match made in heaven. The niche expertise and technical mastery of La Nef combine with Chor Leoni’s passion and soaring sound, resulting in a musical experience as powerful and refreshing as ocean waves,” says Erick Lichte, Artistic Director of Chor Leoni. “It is no understatement to state that our very first collaboration in February 2020 [Sea Songs and Shanties] was one of the best concerts in our choir’s history. It was also our final performance before our regular gatherings were sidelined for years due to the pandemic. Four years later – nearly to the day – we are thrilled for the opportunity to reunite.”
With titles such as Haul on the Bowline and Leave Her, Johnny, shanties are a curious form of music where the individual songs may be unfamiliar – but the form is instantly recognizable. In the early days of the pandemic, the form would rise to dazzling prominence when a Scottish postal worker singing Wellerman exploded virally on TikTok. The form is beloved for its driving beats, stirring melodies, and whimsical tales of adventure, longing, and journeys home.
The players and singers of La Nef have long taken an interest in these folk songs, which have largely been passed down through the oral tradition and rarely set in writing. The eclectic ensemble, who also specialize in early, classical, jazz, and world music, were well positioned to explore such repertoire and have developed a large body of work around it. Today, their expertise is such that the ensemble was approached to contribute their voices and songs to the soundtracks for three iterations in the historically-set Assassin’s Creed video game series (Assassin’s Creed 3, Black Flag, and Rogue). La Nef’s stirring, fresh, and fun approach to shanties gives modern audiences a new way to experience these rollicking, catchy, and sometimes heartbreaking songs.
The 75-minute program is arranged by La Nef member and iconic Shantyman Seán Dagher. The multifaceted artist’s renditions of sea shanties and other songs have been streamed more than 70 million times through Dagher’s Shanty of the Week series and channels. As he sings and plays cittern (a Renaissance-era member of the mandolin family), the members of La Nef will join in on Irish bodhrán, bouzoukis, penny whistle, and more, while the singing lions of Chor Leoni will belt out as enthusiastically as any crew on the high seas.
For tickets and information, visit chorleoni.org
About Chor Leoni (chorleoni.org)
Known internationally and loved locally, JUNO-nominated Chor Leoni is recognized as one of the vanguard vocal ensembles in North America. Founded by the late choral luminary Diane Loomer and now led by Artistic Director Erick Lichte, Vancouver’s Singing Lions have enriched and transformed people’s lives through singing for thirty years. With stylistic grace and an adventurous spirit, Chor Leoni performs in many languages, styles and genres, always aiming to communicate, engage, and entertain.
About La Nef (lanefeng.com)
Montréal’s award-winning La Nef was founded in 1991 and is renowned for creating innovative musical experiences that range from early music and the music of oral traditions to explorations of world and experimental music. A multidisciplinary ensemble, La Nef often integrates theatre, movement, dance, video, and digital arts into their productions to create the distinctive character that is the company’s unique signature.
About Seán Dagher
Seán Dagher is an active performer, arranger, theatre sound designer, and composer of music from various folk and classical music traditions, including Celtic, Baroque, Medieval, Arabic, French-Canadian, and Maritime. He is the artistic director of Skye Consort and its principal arranger. An active arranger, Seán’s music has been performed across Canada and the United States. He has been nominated for numerous Adisq awards and participated in the Adisq-winning CD, La Traverse Miraculeuse with La Nef and Les Charbonniers de l’enfer. Despite all this, Seán can most frequently be found singing and playing in Irish pubs.
|Chor Leoni presents The Return Voyage
|Dates & Times:
|February 16, 2024 at 7:30pm
February 17, 2024 at 2pm & 5pm
|St. Andrew-Wesley’s United
1022 Nelson St., Vancouver
|Tickets from $20-$75, plus applicable fees
35 and Under ticket pricing available