Tickets are already almost sold out for the Marionettes Chorale’s 45th Anniversary Celebration, which plays at the Queen’s Hall July 10-12. And if you happen to be among those who walk or drive by while the Marionettes are rehearsing, you will understand why.
You’ll hear something incredible, something that you perhaps could only hear in Trinidad & Tobago. Nearly 150 voices and an international orchestra of steel pans, strings, brass, woodwinds and a dizzying a range of percussion performing some of the most powerful music every composed.
From gripping western classical music, the rehearsal then shifts seamlessly to hit American Broadway and pop music from the 50s and 60s, before transitioning into regional rhythms – Brazilian samba and vintage calypso from Sparrow and Lord Blakie.
All of this is part of the Marionettes’ preparation for their anticipated mid-year concert, the second of three major concert series commemorating the Marionettes’ 45 years of musical excellence.
Patrons will be treated to the Marionettes’ usual versatility, with a programme ranging from best-loved regional folk and calypso to Western operatic favourites, and everything in between. In addition to premiering some new works, the choir will also bring back some of their best-loved performances, including the inimitable “Carmina Burana”.
• Borodin’s “Prince Igor”, Verdi’s “Nabucco”, and Rossini’s “William Tell” – like you’ve never heard it before!
• The unforgettable “Carmina Burana”, of which the Marionettes presented the Caribbean debut in 1989
• Treasured African-American spirituals
• Evergreen hits from the 50s & 60s (the decade that gave birth to the Marionettes)
• Popular musicals “Sister Act” and “Wicked”
• Regional favourites from the Mighty Sparrow, Lord Blakie and more
• And a very special tribute to the late Michael Jackson – gone far too soon
This must-see performance also celebrates a number of other joyous anniversaries. This year marks 35 years of exemplary leadership from artistic director and conductor Gretta Taylor; assistant musical director Susan Dore; and founder member and secretary Joanne Mendes. It also marks 37 years of immeasurable support from sponsors bpTT; 20 years of the Marionettes’ partnership with the Noble Douglas Dance Company; and 14 years since the formation of the Youth Chorale – with members from over 30 schools nationwide.
During this anniversary year, the choir will also be renewing their fundraising drive as they move to build their own home in Mucurapo. Polo shirts, CDs, and other memorabilia will be on sale, proceeds from which will go to the Marionettes Property Fund, as the group has every intention of being here 45 years from now as vibrant as ever.
Tickets for this anniversary celebration are available at the Queen’s Hall Box Office (open 12pm-6pm, tel: 624-1284); online at www.CaribbeanBoxOffice.net; and from members of the choir. They are $200 reserved; $150 open; and $100 for students (see Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/MarionettesChorale for details about student tickets).