Critic’s Choice

Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Seraphic Fire

Yes, the Bears are playing the Packers Sunday afternoon in a crucial playoff game, and most Chicagoans will be glued to their television sets. But it’s not the Super Bowl yet and there is a significant competing event that local music fans should not overlook.

Seraphic Fire is making their Chicago debut 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul’s Church. The Miami choir has been one of the bright lights of South Florida’s music scene for nearly a decade. The singers possess a seamless shimmering sound and extraordinary flexibility, as shown in their Chicago program, which ranges from Victoria and Bortniansky to Arvo Part, John Tavener, folk music and spirituals. And, believe me, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Ingram Marshall’s symphonic-electronic Hymnodic Delays in Seraphic Fire’s unplugged choral version with the singers tackling all the work’s dizzying electronic effects.

Patrick Dupre Quigley, the choir’s artistic director and guiding light has been felled by ulcerative colitis and this concert tour is being led by Seraphic member James Bass. Concert time is 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 2335 N. Orchard. There are also tour dates at Green Bay Friday night and Milwaukee Saturday.; 888-544-3473.

Jane Glover leads Music of the Baroque in a diverting program of Classical-era works Sunday evening. The program includes Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto,  Leopold Mozart’s Trumpet Concerto, and Haydn’s Symphonies Nos. 102 and 104. Performance time is 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Evanston with a repeat 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Harris Theater.; 312-551-1414.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago opens its production of Puccini’s La fanciulla del west Saturday night with Deborah Voigt and Marcello Giordani, running through Feb. 21. And Leonard Slatkin, filling in for an indisposed Sir John Eliot Gardiner, leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in works of Elgar, Stravinsky and Bartok Thursday and Saturday.

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