Music

The Christmas Cantata comes to Chennai

From an earlier performance of the Christmas Cantata by IYF in Bengaluru

From an earlier performance of the Christmas Cantata by IYF in Bengaluru   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Holiday stage fun continues in the city with Indian Youth Fellowship’s Christmas Cantata at the mall

From Sydney’s Opera House to New York’s Madison Square Garden, the Gracias Choir performs in over 20 countries each year, taking its faith-based songs and festive cheer across the world. The troupe, founded in South Korea and led by distinguished Russian conductor Boris Abalyan, will not be making a stop in India this year, but its world-renowned Christmas Cantata — a four-hour musical performance featuring over 60 actors and singers — will find a stage in the city this weekend, at Phoenix MarketCity, Velachery.

With permission from the choir, Indian Youth Fellowship (IYF), a Chennai-based NGO that promotes leadership skills and character-based education, will present the show with performers drawn from among its members. Kathirvel Venugopal, director of operations of the IYF, says that the motivation to bring the Cantata to Chennai was largely driven by how family-oriented the show is, using the power of the performing arts to drive home the importance of community. They will be using pre-recorded music by the Gracias Choir — which has won numerous awards, including at Italy’s Concorso Corale Internazionale and Germany’s Marktoberdorf Choral Competition.

Scripting it

The first act of the show, featuring carols such as ‘We three kings of Orient’ and ‘Noel Noel’, will depict the Nativity scene and life in Israel under Roman rule. The second act will present a musical, The Little Match Girl. In it, we meet the protagonist, a mischievous little girl whose trials and tribulations through the play help her understand the importance of family.

The show, directed by IYF members Divina Lonappan and Subramani Rabee, has already been performed in Bengaluru (including at Phoenix Mall). “While the first act aims at sharing the meaning of real Christmas, the second act has fun, frolic, music, dance and emotions all rolled into one,” shares Lonappan.

Lee Jihyun, a Chennai-based performer from South Korea, concurs. He promises a world-class musical put together by a very young team. “It was grilling and tiring,” he says, about the two-month-long rehearsal process. “The Gracias Cantata is the best in the world, so we needed much more hard work to catch up with them.”

The Christmas Cantata will be performed on Saturday and Sunday, from 5 pm to 9 pm, at Phoenix MarketCity. Free entry.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:55:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/the-christmas-cantata-comes-to-chennai/article25798391.ece

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