CANTUS AND THEATER LATTÉ DA PROUDLY ANNOUNCE THE CD RELEASE OF ALL IS CALM: THE CHRRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914
Cantus and Theater Latté Da present the world premiere recording of All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by Peter Rothstein, with musical arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach. Through new arrangements of European carols and war-songs, All Is Calm recalls the remarkable World War I truce between Allied Forces and German soldiers in No Man’s Land on Christmas, 1914.
All Is Calm writer and director Peter Rothstein states, “The work is best described as a radio musical drama with the nine singers of Cantus and three actors. I’ve been able to tell the story using primarily found text that I’ve pulled from a wide range of sources: official war documents, autobiographies, World War One poets, letters, journals, grave stone inscriptions, even old radio broadcasts.”
“For decades many considered the Christmas truce a romantic fable, a gross exaggeration, but the number of first-hand accounts is staggering. I wanted to represent as many of those voices as possible.” The hour-long work contains quotes from 30 different Great War figures and 25 songs. The music is everything from trench songs and patriotic tunes to medieval Scottish ballads, as well as Christmas music from England, Wales, France and Germany.
“Cantus always tries to put its music into a bigger emotional context,” says Cantus Artistic Director Erick Lichte. “All Is Calm allows us to sing Christmas carols everyone knows and loves but, set in the context of war, they take on new importance and meaning. For instance, “Silent Night” is sung with the hope that the fighting will stop long enough so that the singing soldier who has stepped into No Man’s Land isn’t shot. To me, the whole show speaks to the real but fleeting possibility of peace on Earth and goodwill toward all that is the heart of the Christmas message.”
All Is Calm will be touring nationally from November through December 2008 and will be broadcast worldwide this Christmas through American Public Media and the European Broadcasting Union (check local listings for broadcast time on local public radio stations.) All Is Calm will be released on Veterans Day, November 11, 2008. CD’s are currently available at www.cantusonline.org, and will be available at Amazon.com as well as iTunes.
All Is Calm will also be performed locally at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis Dec. 18-21, 2008 in collaboration with Hennepin Theatre Trust. Tickets are on sale now for $25 and $35 depending on seating preference. Additional fees may apply. Tickets may be purchased in person at the State Theatre Box Office (805 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, 55402), online at HennepinTheatreDistrict.org, or through Ticketmaster by calling 612-673-0404 or visiting Ticketmaster Ticket Center. Groups of 10 or more can save 10% and should call 612-373-5665 for information and reservations.
Performance dates and location for All Is Calm are Thursday, Dec. 18 through Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008 at the Pantages, 710 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 55403. Show times are Thursday, Dec. 18 and Friday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 20 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 21 at 1 and 6:30 p.m.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: ERICK LICHTE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CANTUS 612.435.0048 LICHTE@CANTUSONLINE.ORG
REVIEWS OF ALL IS CALM: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914 “a classic to be repeated for years to come.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“a dramatic, real-life musing about the power this season has to make us stop, reflect, and decide to operate in a mode of peace.” Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine
“a work of beauty” Saint Paul Pioneer Press
ABOUT CANTUS Recognized as one of America’s finest professional male vocal ensembles, Cantus enjoys a vigorous schedule of national tours, subscription concerts in its home of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, educational outreach programs, and recording. The Washington Post hails the ensemble’s sound as having both “exalting finesse” and expressive power,” and refers to their music-making as “spontaneous grace.” The ensemble, co-founded by Artistic Director Erick Lichter, is known for adventurous programming spanning many periods and genres, including chant, Renaissance music, contemporary works, art song, folk, spirituals, world music, and pop.
Cantus’ 2008-09 season includes a collaboration with Bobby McFerrin presented by the Minnesota Orchestra, and the creation of a new work by Mary Ellen Childs with the James Sewell Ballet. 2007-08 highlights included an extended tour with the Boston Pops for the holiday season, a sold-out debut at the Kennedy Center, and an acclaimed premiere of All Is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914. In the fall of 2007, the group made its African debut performing with Cameroonian choirs for joint concerts and workshops throughout southwest Cameroon, culminating in an outdoor stadium concert.
Cantus has toured throughout Canada and Europe. In the United States, the group has sung to great acclaim at many nationally recognized festivals and venues, including Library of Congress, Merkin Hall, San Francisco Performances, Oregon Bach Festival, and Spivey Hall, to name a few. Cantus has appeared as a special guest with the Minnesota Orchestra, and has a long-standing performing relationship with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Their numerous recordings have garnered critical acclaim from Stereophile, Gramophone, Classics Today, and National Public Radio. The ensemble’s eponymous 2007 recording Cantus was named one of NPR’s 10 best for 2007. Frequently heard on public radio stations nationwide, Cantus is regularly featured on American Public Media’s Performance Today.
ABOUT THEATER LATTÉ DA Theater Latté Da seeks to create new connections between story, music, artist and audience by exploring and expanding the art of musical theater. Under the artistic directorship of Peter Rothstein and Denise Prosek, Theater Latté Da has earned a unique place in the Twin Cities arts scene, creating a new voice for musical theater that respects, challenges, and unites its audience. Theater Latté Da boasts an impressive history, including numerous area and world premieres as well as radical rethinkings of existing work, to significant critical and popular acclaim. Theater Latté Da holds itself to the highest standards of artistry while remaining committed to taking risks and pushing the boundaries of musical storytelling.