The Soweto Gospel Choir performed in Ottawa the Friday before Christmas and Manon and I managed to go. I have a series of disjointed comments.
- You can click one of the photos to get to my Flickr set that has larger versions and many more shots.
- Before they started, a voice said "photographs are not allowed". I like going along with reasonable requests, but unless a no-photograph policy is clearly identified when I buy a ticket to an event, I'm under no obligation to go along with the policy.
- There are two nations that produce choirs and choral music that is guaranteed to move me: Wales and South Africa.
- The Soweto Gospel Choir has terrific art direction. The costumes and dancing give the eyes as much pleasure as the music gives the ears.
- If I had to choose on a given night to see either the Cirque de Soleil or the Soweto Gospel Choir with no price difference, I'd go to the Soweto Gospel Choir show. It's just as awe-inspiring, plus you get all these skin-tingling moments.
- Dominion Chalmers is a good venue for a concert, if you don't have special tickets for one of the front rows, the balcony seats are the place to head. Arrive really early, because other people know this.
- Also, if a Dominion-Chalmers show is sold out, you can always score tickets by arriving early. This is because old people (like me and older) like going to concerts at D-C. Being old, they prudently buy tickets in advance, but being old, they get sick on concert days, or they don't go out in inclement weather. Because their friends are also old and prudent, they bring the unused tickets to the show and try to get the purchase price back. Because it is a general admission venue, you can buy single tickets from different people and sit together.
- If you ever find yourself in a position to choose the songs that a South African choir will sing in concert here in Ottawa, your audience will probably be entirely happy if you only go with South African pieces. Or at least with arrangements that have a heavy South African choral style. While you might want to show how well your choir can do North American and European musical styles, we hear that stuff all the time. Not as well as you do it, but it's the South African pieces that moisten our eyes and tingle our skin.