With Remembrance Day around the corner, the Victoria Philharmonic Choir is using its timely season opener at UVic to get residents thinking about the effect of war on civilians.
On Friday, Nov. 6, the choir will perform Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace at the Farquhar Auditorium, backed by the renowned Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy. Conducted by Peter Butterfield, the 67-minute Mass reflects on themes of human conflict, the sacredness of life and the ongoing hope for peace in times of war.
The Mass, which premiered in 2000, was originally dedicated to victims of the Kosovo crisis and has grown to be one of the most-often performed choral works across the globe.
Bookended by the theme from 15th century folk song L’Homme Armé, the Mass incorporates texts from various religious texts, including the Bible, a Muslim call to prayer and the Mahabharata, an ancient Sanskirt epic. Poetry by Rudyard Kipling and Alfred Tennyson also make up parts of Jenkins’ masterpiece.
In addition to The Armed Man, the 80-voice choir will also perform Philip Moore’s Three Prayers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, after the German Lutheran pastor and theologian who spoke out adamantly against the Nazis. For his opposition, Bonhoeffer was sent to a concentration camp and was executed shortly before it was liberated by Allied Forces.
The Naden Band – which is celebrating its 75th anniversary – will also perform a few numbers on their own, including an arrangement of John Williams’ Summon the Heroes and Elliot Del Borgo’s Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.
The show starts at 8 p.m., with tickets regularly priced at $28. Student tickets cost $14 each and youth 15 and under can see the performance for free.
Tickets are available at the UVic Ticket Centre in person, at www.tickets.uvic.ca or by phoning 250-721-8480. For more information, visit uvic.ca/auditorium.