Acclaimed Miami choir to make Chicago debut

Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Seraphic Fire

Seraphic Fire, the critically lauded Florida choir, will make its Chicago debut Jan. 23, as part of a four-city Midwestern tour.

Now in its ninth season under the direction of founding artistic director Patrick Dupré Quigley, Seraphic Fire has become one of South Florida’s leading classical organizations, renown for its pure, seamlessly blended ensemble and venturesome approach to repertoire. The 13 singers have tackled music ranging from monastic chant, Renaissance and Baroque to 20th and 21st-century works. Recently, the group has also enjoyed success with crossover excursions into folk, gospel and bluegrass.

Patrick Quigley

In 2005, Seraphic Fire commissioned and performed Shawn Crouch’s The Road from Hiroshima, a 50-minute cantata for choir and orchestra. The ensemble has also released a total of eight discs ranging from Bach Motets to gospel music. Seraphic Fire’s recent recording of Monteverdi’s Vespers reached No. 1 on the iTunes classical charts.

The Chicago program, to be performed 4 p.m Jan. 23 at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ,  reflects Quigley’s eclectic approach to programming, including music of Victoria, Bortniansky and John Tavener with excerpts from Arvo Part’s Missa Syllabica.

The concert will also include Seraphic Fire’s extraordinary take on Ingram Marshall’s Hymnodic Delays. In this arrangement, commissioned and premiered by Seraphic Fire in 2006, Marshall’s electronic orchestral work is performed in an “unplugged” acoustic version with the voices tackling all the multifarious lines and electronic effects.

The whistle-stop tour will also include dates at Notre Dame in South Bend on Jan. 19, Green Bay on Jan. 21, and Milwaukee on Jan 22.

For tickets and information go to or call 888-544-3473. (For Green Bay tickets, call 800-236-3330.)

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