College choirs singing the Saint Nicolas Cantata in holiday concerts

November 15, 2010

Benjamin Britten’s “Saint Nicolas Cantata” will be sung twice this holiday season by the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

The Cantata will be the centerpiece of the choirs’ holiday concerts, which take place at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, in the Larry and Kathryn Smith Chapel on the campus of Penn State Behrend, and again at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5, at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery, 6101 East Lake Road. General admission tickets for either concert are $5 per person and can be reserved by calling 814-898-6242.

“‘Saint Nicolas Cantata’ is a modern work that narrates the birth, life, and canonization of the real Saint Nicolas, who is the inspiration for Santa Claus,” Jason Bishop, director of choral activities at the college, said. “It’s charming, but not often performed because of the tonal language and rhythmic complexity of Britten’s style, and because of the dramatic demands he places on the voices and accompanying instruments. I think it’s worth the effort because of its beautiful melodies, poignant moments, and humorous scenes, especially when the younger voices are involved.”

Tenor Brent Weber, an assistant professor of music at Mercyhurst College, will sing the role of the adult Nicolas. Young Nicolas will be sung by Jacob Miaczynski; Joey Cox and David Capan will sing the additional boys’ roles. All three are members of the Young People’s Chorus of Erie.

  • Benjamin Britten’s 'Saint Nicolas Cantata' will be sung twice this holiday season by the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010