Music

MMA choir performs at Dubai Opera for the first time

Musica Gloria concert celebrates 50 years of Holy Trinity Church, Dubai

The Chennai-based Madras Musical Association choir has literally taken Anton Bruckner’s motet — ‘Locus iste a Deo factus est’ — to heart. The Latin phrase translates to “this place was made by God”; for the choir, it is the Dubai Opera — it will perform this piece at the Emirate at the invitation of the Holy Trinity Church that celebrates its 50th year.

Musica Gloria, includes an ensemble of choral performances by four international choirs — Dubai Camerata Singers, Kuwait Chamber Chorale, Dubai Chamber Choir and the MMA choir. They are accompanied by the Emirates Community Symphony Orchestra. The concert has in its repertoire choral performances in six languages, with 250 voices singing the finale — George Frederic Handel’s ‘Dixit Dominus’, a baroque masterpiece based on Psalm 110.

The Holy Trinity Church is unique in that it is an inter-denominational Christian church rooted in the Anglican tradition but its premises is used as a place of worship by nearly 120 different Christian congregations numbering almost 10,000, and, sometimes sees services in many languages. Since its foundation in 1970, on land granted by the Emir of Dubai Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, people have gathered around its Canterbury Cross to pray.

“The 127-year-old MMA choir, the sole invitee from India to participate in Musica Gloria, will be part of this heritage,” says Vijay Chacko, bass singer and member of the choir committee. “The 77-voice choir will be helmed by music director Augustine Paul..”

Paul says, “It’s an honour for us to sing at the prestigious Dubai Opera that regularly hosts some of the world’s most outstanding talents. We have been practising for over two months. Tours like these add to our experience and expose our choir to a high level of musical standard.”

Apart from ‘Locus iste’, the choir will also perform ‘Storm Is Passing Over’, ‘Sing the Lord Ye Voices All’ and the beloved Tamil hymn ‘Ellam Yesuve’.

Mary Rodrigues, MMA president says, “It’s a tribute to our capability that we get such invitations,” underlining the fact that since its inception in 1893, the choir, usually comprising 90 voices, (several with international accreditations) has excelled in a wide range of musical genres, including classical, spiritual, jazz and pop. They also have performed at the Sydney and London Olympics and in Rome, Vienna, Singapore and Colombo.

On Friday, the choir will round off its tour with its Sacred Music Festival at St Andrew’s Church, Abu Dhabi, accompanied on the piano by Immanuel Thiyakeswaran.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 2:07:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/mma-choir-performs-at-dubai-opera-for-the-first-time/article30860886.ece

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