Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Talks and reviews about Libera concerts or public appearances

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JimmyRiddle
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by JimmyRiddle » 1 year ago

Speaking of Tiachi one the media outlets have posted an interview from him here http://ideanews.jp/archives/14998 its in Japanese so you'll need to use online translator. I think he's looking forward to going Philippines.
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dani
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by dani » 1 year ago

Is there a video of the q&a they did before the meet and greet yesterday ?

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john45
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by john45 » 1 year ago

dani wrote:Is there a video of the q&a they did before the meet and greet yesterday ?
I don't think so. They were delayed in traffic so the session was very short. The fourteen present just introduced themselves - name and age - and only answered the one question "What is your favorite Libera song and why?". Most popular was "Sanctus" - for the complex harmonies, followed by "Orinoco Flow" and "Carol of the Bells" - for the beat. Best answer was from Alex Montaro ' "Voca Me", because it's so difficult". I guess he likes a challenge - good for him! Forever the diplomat, Cassius chose the new song "Angel". Joe chose "Sacris Solemnis", I forget his reasoning, but I can certainly understand his choice which is a personal favorite of mine. Perhaps it was jet lag or a temporary lapse but Alessandro chose "Santa will find you".
The interviews were followed by a ten second photo-op (yes, 10 seconds, with a countdown) and then they moved to tables for a traditional signing session.

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john45
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by john45 » 1 year ago

Three hours to kill at NRT so how better to spend them than by recalling the three wonderful concerts just completed in Japan. Not quite so easy as there was no program to aid the memory. No doubt FDL took copious notes and a full and accurate report will surface soon.

Both venues were very impressive architecturally with excellent sound quality. Orchestra included several violins, cello, base, French horn, and clarinet played by local musicians with a percussionist and flautist imported from the UK (the same who performed so well at St Georges). As is usual in Japan the appreciative audiences numbered in the thousands.

Twenty two boys were on stage = the oldest being Matthew Jansen at 15 and the youngest Tadhg Fitzgerald at 8. For some reason, in the speeches Cassius (at 14) was introduced as the oldest.

There was a very enthusiastic welcoming ovation for RP as he approached the music lectern.

The concert opened with “Joy to the World” followed by “Sanctus” with the boys in a wide arc as usual. Merlin was the soloist for what I call the Jakob/Dylan descant and also the final Sanctus. Not sure who did Tom’s usual descant part – perhaps one of the Alex’s or Lucas.

A short speech with Taichi translating preceded “The Prayer” (Isaac), “Silent Night” (Ciarin was at his very best} and “Stay with Me” (Merlin with Lucas doing the high bits).

Another speech, which mentioned Japan’s remarkable performance in the Rugby World Cup and then introduced the “Wexford Carol” (Isaac and Camden) which was followed by a very lively “Carol of the Bells” with perfect “ah,ahs” from Gabe and Alex G.

Lucas then led “Exultate” which was followed by “Angel” with solo by Isaac and Mr Muramatsu at the piano.

A rousing “Libera” completed the first half.

Second half opened with “I Vow to thee my Country”.very nicely done. A subsequent speech noted that the tune had been used as accompanying music by a well known Japanese figure skater (or gymnast, I’m not sure which).

Next was “Angels we have Heard on High” – again not sure who did Tom’s usual high bits – perhaps Alex G. Whoever it was, they did it very well.

“Song of Life” (Ciaran) followed, once again with Mr Muramatsu at the piano.

Alessandro led “Wayfaring Stranger” with the usual staging, which was followed in Osaka by “Wonderful World”. However, this was dropped in Tokyo as it seemed that Isaac may have been experiencing throat problems.

Next was “Salve Me” and you must wait for FDL’s report to know who did the “ah-aahs”. Lucas or Alex M?

Next came the delightful new arrangement of “In Dulce Jubile” complete with la-la-la’s and tin whistle.

The high spot of the concert for me was once again the most perfect a capella version of “Nearer My God to Thee”. All the boys except Alessandro, Lucas, Sam, Ciaran and Alex M left the stage and Alessandro opened this heavenly piece. I almost had to borrow the handkerchief which my neighbours had been sharing, but it was already soaked having had much use by them for “Sanctus”, “The Prayer”, “Silent Night” and “The Wexford Carol”. The other four left the stage as Alessandro sang the final verse and then the entire group returned bedecked with tinsel for “Joyful,Joyful”.

In Osaka, rousing applause was followed by an encore of “Santa will find you” then more applause.

In Tokyo, RP joined the boys on stage for a bow immediately after “Joyful, Joyful” and then all, including the orchestra, left the stage. It seemed clear there was going to be no encore, but the applause did not stop for several minutes. At the 3.00 PM concert the audience finally realised there would be no encore and the rush to the signing session began. At the 7.00PM show, again no encore, but this time, again after insistent applause, the boys and RP returned to the stage for a final bow and received a standing ovation (which is quite rare in Japan).

Signing sessions attended by hundreds, if not thousands, followed. The boys were split into two groups which were comprised differently for each occasion so it is unlikely that anyone achieved a full house of signatures. The photo book, which was a popular item for signatures is a must buy. Beautifully produced on high quality paper and many, many charming pictures.

Finally, Taichi is to be congratulated for his excellent job translating the speeches into Japanese - with what I was told was a slightly British accent. He was very expressive in his manner and deliverance. I was told by several Japanese speakers that he would make a very good story teller

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Yorkie
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by Yorkie » 1 year ago

Thanks for the report John, sounds like you had a great trip. So envious that you got to hear 'Nearer my god to Thee' three more times :D
john45 wrote:
There was a very enthusiastic welcoming ovation for RP as he approached the music lectern.
I remember when we used to do this in the UK, until they started to use Cassius' message for RP to sneak on to stop us applauding!

john45 wrote:Second half opened with “I Vow to thee my Country”.very nicely done. A subsequent speech noted that the tune had been used as accompanying music by a well known Japanese figure skater (or gymnast, I’m not sure which).
Ice skating:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmddpKdwiY4


john45 wrote:Finally, Taichi is to be congratulated for his excellent job translating the speeches into Japanese - with what I was told was a slightly British accent. He was very expressive in his manner and deliverance. I was told by several Japanese speakers that he would make a very good story teller
What isn't improved by a British accent :wink:
Last edited by Yorkie on Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Surpinto
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by Surpinto » 1 year ago

Wow John, thank you so much for such a detailed review; it was a pleasure to read. Isaac having throat problems? Like the sort that herald a voice change do you think? With him being such a prime soloist with them for a good while now that would change things a great deal.

I am glad to have read that it was such a moving and successful concert series in Japan with thousands in attendance.

Thank you John for your review, those of us unable to travel to such far away places as Japan appreciate reading these reviews and feeling connected as if we too were a part of these wonderful concerts. :D

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fan_de_LoK
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by fan_de_LoK » 1 year ago

john45 wrote:No doubt FDL took copious notes and a full and accurate report will surface soon.
Well, my notes are not so copius and the few I have is hardly readable. As the songs and boys were identical to St George Concert 10 days earlier, most of the report is implicite.
I will tru to add a few coments but not before a couple of days, I have no free time now, behing with the family :)
john45 wrote:... followed by “Sanctus” with the boys in a wide arc as usual. Merlin was the soloist for what I call the Jakob/Dylan descant and also the final Sanctus. Not sure who did Tom’s usual descant part – perhaps one of the Alex’s or Lucas.
Yes, Merlin is in charge of the Jakob/Dylan/Bertie descant and final world "Saaantcuuuuuus". He walks slowly to center front stage to sung it.
For the other remarquable descant sung by Stefan/Tom it's now Alex M that has it. You were right when you named him as one possibility, I had a eye on him for the second concert.
john45 wrote:... Next was “Angels we have Heard on High” – again not sure who did Tom’s usual high bits – perhaps Alex G. Whoever it was, they did it very well.
I'm almost sure that Lucas does these high notes. I will confirm it once I will be arrived home and that I have access to my few notes.
john45 wrote:Next was “Salve Me” and you must wait for FDL’s report to know who did the “ah-aahs”. Lucas or Alex M?
No doubt here, it's Alex M, he stood at the back of the group on a little step and is bathed of magenta light.

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alcesalcesobservator
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by alcesalcesobservator » 1 year ago

It sounds like a lovely concert series. Thank you for the reviews!

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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by JimmyRiddle » 1 year ago

Thanks for the concert reports...

Here's another video take from an audience member. Lots of crowd noise and people movement on the outer fringes, but does give a good indication of the appreciable turnout.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llqQo70U9nU
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by fan_de_LoK » 1 year ago

JimmyRiddle wrote:Speaking of Tiachi one the media outlets have posted an interview from him here http://ideanews.jp/archives/14998 its in Japanese so you'll need to use online translator.
Marka, a Japanese fan, did yesterday a very nice translation of Taichi's interview by Ideanews :)
I copy it here with her agreement. Thank you very much Marka :D

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On December 20, 2015, at Universal Studio Japan (USJ) near ‘’the best tree of light in the world,’’ we had a one- night concert of Libera, a boys choir from England, with angelic voices echoing. Before it began, I had had an opportunity to interview with Taichi Shinokubo (9) who is the first Japanese member of the choir. I would like to share the interview and the concert report.

The Christmas tree in USJ, which has started in November as usual, and has a Guiness record as ‘’ an artificial tree with the highest number of decorative illuminations, added 160,000 more LED lights and made a new record with 534,280 lights to make more shining for this day. In the light, Libera sang with ‘’the sweetest voice in the world.” They seldom sing out of churches or concert halls, so it was a great experience to hear their angel voices at this miracle stage.

http://youtu.be/UPD1AX9M80E

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The members of Libera are the boys who are 7 to 18 years-old living in South London, England, and have passed the hard audition. Despite of his small age,a Japanese member Taichi Shinokubo excellently plays many roles in this tour in Japan, for example, greeting and interpreting English to Japanese in the concerts, helping other members to order in the restaurant. He was born in London, but he likes to speak Japanese so we had a talk in Japanese.

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Interviewer: Why did you decide to join Libera? Have you liked music for long?

Taichi: At school we often have singing concerts so we practice singing. The boy who suggested to hold a concert is a Libera member. Our teacher also recommended Libera to me and I sang La, la, la, …

Interviewer: In the audition.

Taichi: Yes. And I became a member.

Interviewer: What did you think when you passed the audition?

Taichi: Actually, I didn’t know what music they played.

Interviewer: You didn’t know Libera, did you?

Taichi: No, not so. But the teacher told me, “They go around the world,” I wanted to join.

Interviewer: Which country have you ever been as Libera? You have come Japan in this summer, right?

Taichi: To America. And many places in GB.

Interviewer: How do you feel now before the Christmas concert?

Taichi: I’m anxious lest I should make mistake in interpretation. It makes me more nervous rather to speech than to sing.

On August 5, 2015, Taichi sang as a member of Libera and did a great job as an interpreter at the mid-summer Christmas concert in USJ. He says he likes to speak English among English speaking persons and Japanese among Japanese speaking ones. He talks in English with Libera member and in Japanese with his family and Japanese staffs. He might express the difficulty of being bilingual in such words. Taichi is a bright boy and he faithfully answer to what I ask him. I feel he is in the prime period to learn music, English and Japanese.

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Interviewer: What is the best thing for you after you joined Libera?

Taichi: After the concert, many people said Taichi had played well, in the Libera facebook pages. That made me happy the best. Some time ago, when we were on a roller coaster, Japanese fans also called me, “Taichi! Taichi!”

Interviewer: That’s great! Everyone knows you! Today there are many Libera fans here for the concert. How did you feel when you were called your name?

Taichi: I said,” Hooray!!” I waved my hand to them!

Interviewer: What do you want to do as a member of Libera?

Taichi: I’d like to go to Philippines. And Moscow, to many countries.

In Philippines there are also many avid fans as Japan. Libera has been there some times but Taichi has never been. As I asked why he wanted to go to Philippines, he said, ”It’s hot there so I may be able to eat kaki-gori (shaved ice topped with flavored syrup). My favorite season is summer!” I told him to try Philippines Halo-halo. Taichi’s favorite Libera song is the original music of Libera, ‘Angel’, which we can listen to tonight. He says he wants to sing more classical music and songs with beautiful melodies. To the question,” What do you want to do in the future?” he answers he doesn’t know yet. He’s only 9 years old now. We, Libera fans, will have many opportunities to enjoy his voice and interpretation for long in the future.

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Libera and USJ have collaborated for the Christmas events every year since 2011. The USJ Christmas show of this year is “The Miracle Angels have given 3rd~ The Voice of an Angel ~”, which is no less glorious around the world than the Christmas tree with the Guiness record. The song “Angel” which is newly written for this Christmas concert is used in the climax of the show, which is awarded in the 20th THEA Award held by IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attraction, Virginia).

This is the song that Taichi loves the best. At half past 5 p.m., the show “The Miracle Angels have given 3rd” started. The theme for this year is “ Family Love”. Everyone looking at the show was attracted by the beautiful voice, the fine Projection Mapping and the work of circling angels.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jICuoSx2cfo

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Finally, ten minutes passed 6 p.m., the Libera concert started. They sang 5 songs, Joy to the world, Carol of the bells, Sanctus, Song of Life, Angel. Taichi made a great speech which he said made him more nervous rather than singing. “In England, Japan is popular and famous for rugby World Cup. We are so happy to come to Japan and sing for you.” The concert place was filled with warm applause to him.
Last edited by fan_de_LoK on Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JimmyRiddle
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by JimmyRiddle » 1 year ago

fan_de_LoK wrote:Marka, a Japanese fan, did yesterday a very nice translation of Taichi's interview by Ideanews :)
I copy it here with her agreement. Thank you very much Marka :D
Yes thanks to Marka - it's very welcome that our Japanese friends are translating such news items for us. Gone are the days of head scratching we non-natives did during their very first tours of Japan/Korea. It was already known, and not surprising with today's social media savvy youngsters, that they do read our comments on Facebook and other forums.

Libera also posted this very impressive photo on their Facebook page today;

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...that's a very impressive outdoor turnout for a Libera (mini)concert.
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Surpinto
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by Surpinto » 1 year ago

New photos from this tour released today at the Libera Facebook site.

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alcesalcesobservator
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by alcesalcesobservator » 1 year ago

Libera Official has just posted a new blog from the boys: http://www.libera.org.uk/blog/japan_in_december
The unknown author has a "punny" sense of humor, and name drops quite a few Libera songs.
As to how the boys stayed warm at the outdoor concert in Universal Studios, apparently they wore "thermal underclothes", which was imminently sensible.

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Surpinto
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by Surpinto » 1 year ago

Nice, very well written and it sounds like it was a busy but exciting trip for them.

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hiskeys
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Re: Japan Christmas Tour 2015

Post by hiskeys » 1 year ago

"Gobs" of pictures from Japan tour over at the Hungary site. Libera's fun time opportunity at Universal. (I just used 'gobs' since it made me think of 'gobstoppers', a particularly British term.) I believe this was their summer recording of 'Angel'; it looks rather warm outside.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... =3&theater

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