Saturday, February 6, 2016

Postcards: The King's Singers visit Richmond

Last night at a church in Richmond, The King's Singers kicked off a tour that will take them across Canada and the US. In mid-March, they'll begin a European tour. Then they'll head for Japan and continue around the world, returning to Toronto in December.

Invited here by the BC Choral Federation, these immensely talented men gave a single concert in our area; tonight they sang in Winnipeg and tomorrow they'll perform in Edmonton.

This a cappella group began their singing career at King's College in Cambridge, England. The combination of voices -- one bass, one tenor, two baritones (both named Christoper), and two countertenors, this group has a unique sound.

Consummate professionals, the King's Singers dress with a certain formality. All six wore white shirts, red ties, and blue suits with waistcoats. Being in the front row, I got a glimpse of the rich red and white print linings of their jackets, and admired the high gloss of their black patent shoes.

The concert began with old airs from the British Isles, and later the men sang in German, Korean, Italian, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. With sure grace, the singers expressed sadness, joy and humour. Some of their songs have been composed for the group; they've collected or adapted others from old songs that originate in a range of countries and continents.

It was a true delight to enjoy the King's Singers perform their postcards of song from around the world. The audience was so appreciative that after two return bows, they decided to sing us their delightful version of Danny Boy before bidding a final adieu.

This summer, they run two choral schools -- one at the Royal Holloway in London and one in Depauw, Indiana.

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