St George's 2015

Talks and reviews about Libera concerts or public appearances

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alcesalcesobservator
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by alcesalcesobservator » 1 year ago

john45 wrote:An afterthought:

It should also not be allowed to pass unnoticed that this was the first concert for at least eight years in which the Menezes/Madine/Leggat family was not represented either on stage or in the orchestra. The contribution of Sam, Alex, Josh, Matthew, Jacob, Michael and James and their families to the success of Libera is immeasurable.
Glad to see Matthew was helping with merchandising (and looking very dapper too).
Wow! They've just always been there. Maybe there's another younger brother/cousin coming along...?

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Re: St George's 2015

Post by Yorkie » 1 year ago

Just so that we have a record of what the boys and set list were (thanks to The Furby on the French forum from whom I shamelessly stole this):

Marc Alvares
Nathaniel Bates-Fisher (newbie)
Leo Barron
Emanuele Borrelli (mini)
Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey
Merlin Brouwer
Ben Bywater
Gabriel Collins
Samuel-Francis Collins (mini)
Henry Cullinan-Hollihead (newbie)
Shea Duffy (newbie)
Tadhg Fitzgerald
Alex Gula
Adam Izghouti
Matthew Jansen
Luke Jelley (newbie)
Peter Kielty (newbie)
Timothy Lee
Isaac London
Alessandro McKinnon-Botti
Alex Montoro
Mathias Montoro (newbie)
Oliver Mycka
Cassius O'Connell-White
Arthur Palmer (newbie)
Neo Parson (mini)
Taichi Shinokubo
Camden Stewart
Cameron Taylor (mini)
Rocco Tesei
Romeo Tesei (newbie)
Sejus Toussaint-O'Neill (mini)
Oliviero Veneri-Thomas (mini)
Joe Walshe
Finn Wood (mini)
Sam Wiggin
Lucas Wood

1- Joy to the World
2- Sanctus (final par Merlin)
3- The Prayer (Isaac)
4- Silent Night (Ciaran)
5- Stay With Me (Merlin, descant Lucas)
6- The Wexford Carol (Isaac & Camden)
7- Carol of the Bells (Gabriel, Alex G & Isaac did the Cassius Ding Dong ending)
8- Exultate (Lucas)
9- Angel (Isaac)
10- Libera (Alessandro)

Interval

11- I Vow to Thee my Country (Merlin, Isaac, Alex M)
12- Angels We Have Heard on High
13- Song of Life (Ciaran)
14- Wayfaring Stranger (Alessandro)
15- Wonderful World (Isaac)
16- Salva Me (Alex M high parts)
17- In Dulci Jubilo
18- Nearer My God to Thee (Alessandro, Lucas, Sam, Ciaran, Alex M)
19- Joyful Joyful
20- Santa (Isaac)
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Yorkie
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by Yorkie » 1 year ago

Well, once you start stealing content it is hard to stop :wink: Patrick has done such a wonderful and detailed review on the French forum it would be a shame not to repeat it here too. Many thanks to Patrick, without whom we would miss out on such detail (I've slightly edited the Google translation here and there).

For the start, the main group was spread out silently across the stage.
Newbies came from both sides and are arranged in lines of 7, left and right, facing the audience, at the bottom of the stage. Fortunately there were cameras and screens present because, not being on the stage and not being very large, few people would have seen otherwise.

1) Joy to the World (37)
The start of the song took place without music. On a gesture from Robert, the entire choir launched the first 'Joy to the World, the Lord has come' with impeccable synchronicity, and therefore a capella on the early stanzas. Then the music merged smoothly with the lyrics. This was a very nice start, with all the voices of the choir providing a powerful sound. Pure white lighting.

2) Sanctus
The newbies returned to sit on the very front benches to the left and right of the centre aisle.
The boys arranged in a wide arc for this classic song. White lighting.
Merlin was on the verses harmony, but I could not identify the high harmonies for the choruses, that were sung by Tom. Maybe Alessandro, or Lucas or another. I hope I can clear this up at the Japanese concerts in 10 days.
The final word Sanctus was sung by Merlin, with the novelty that he came out of the group arc and slowly walked alone on the front centre of the stage.

3) Speech Cassius and Tadhg.
Cassius has a deep speaking voice now that is crystal clear.
Talked about the boys ages. While Tadhg spoke, a small newbie walked in front, and he was presented by Tadhg as the youngest of the concert that evening, Luke (Jelley) aged 7 years. Tadhg said the youngest member on the stage (the main group) was ... himself at 8 years old! He concluded by stating that Cassius was the eldest, aged 14.


4) The Prayer
Solo Isaac.
Song started with all kneeling. Isaac sings the first verse alone, then all rise when the choir begins the second verse.
Isaac finishes by taking only a few lines at the end.

5) Silent Night
Solo: Ciaran
Ciaran is positioned in the centre and only sings the first verse alone. Beautiful arrangements with vocals and harmonies from around while others sing the lyrics, there are very soft passages, it is beautifully rendered.
Ciaran finished alone on the last sentence.

6) Stay with Me
Solo: Merlin, and high notes by Lucas.
They were arranged in two lines, facing the audience, Merlin inthe centre. Lucas sang his high notes from his place in the group with the others. During the song the boys make the usual hand movements that cross in front and behind, etc.

7) Speech Ciaran - Alessandro
Text about where they live in London in relation to famous landmarks (King's Cross station where Harry Potter catches the train to Hogwarts), and the white robes.

8) Wexford Carol
Solo: Isaac and Camden.
The two stand side by side on the front center of the stage.
The flautist came on to the right corner of the stage, next to the lectern, and played an intro. She closed her eyes, looked completely consumed by its interpretation.
Intense green lighting in the beginning, so Irish.
Isaac sang only the first verse (in Gaelic), then Camden the second, then the whole choir. What a beautiful harmony when they sing together!
One of my favourite songs tonight :D

9) Carol of the Bells
High harmonies performed by Gabriel and Alex G.
The final Ding-dong (the Cassius bit) was said by Isaac.
Gabe and Alex G are placed side by side on the front of the stage. All the choir is broken in to small groups everywhere on the stage but they are arranged symmetrically with respect to the axis of the scene. They make rotational movements of quarter turns in an opposite manner with respect to this axis. When those on the left make a quarter turn to the right, those on the right turn to the left.
There are slow movements of rotation when turning to the centre of the stage, and very sudden movements that make flying the bottom of the white robes fly out and gives the feeling of great bells being swung.
Gabe and Alex G sang the soaring high parts (Stefan & Ralph's bits), first Gabe then Alex replied. Nice to hear their individual voices :D
Isaac changed the final 'Ding Dong' and 'That is Their Song'.

10) Exultate (the mini boys join the main group)
Solo: Lucas
Lucas was up front and centre. A percussionist (with a tambourine like drum that he hit with a double ended stick by flicking his wrist) and the flautist placed themselves on either side of the stage to play the intro. They didn't do the usual choreography of steps forward and back, as far as I can remember.
Lucas changed solo early in the last verse.

11) speech Alex Ben G +
About learning songs and placings.

12) Angel
Solo: Isaac
The same song presented in Osaka this summer. Introduction by 3 strikes of the tubular bell.

13) Libera (all 37 boys)
Solo Alessandro.
He was placed in the centre front of the stage while the others formed a wide arc around him.
It's was a pleasure to hear the return of this song to a concerts.

Interval
All the boys left the stage after 'Libera' except Ciaran, who was left alone on stage and he made an announcement to present the (a Charity) named Compassion which looks for people to sponsor children living in abject poverty in the third world to give them food, healthcare and education.

14) I Vow To Thee
Solo: Merlin, Isaac, Alex M
To start the second half, Isaac entered the stage alone, in complete silence. He stood to the front and centre of the 'stage' and started the song alone a capella. He was soon joined by four others who are placed close to Isaac. Alex M sang the acute ah-ha, Merlin (I think) sang one verse, then the whole choir, giving depth to the song. In the Channel Island tour of 2012, this song was performed by Matthew J I think.
On the night I was not convinced that the chosen arrangement worked but there were some beautiful arrangements, all is pleasant.

15) Angels We Have Heard (all 37 boys)
Percussionist and flautist returned to the sides of the stage. Beautiful blue light to start. Lucas did the upper parts.

16 Speech by Alessandro and Ciaran about their travels and presenting Moose.

17) Song of Life
Solo: Ciaran
It's a surprise to see this change of role, because previously it was sung by Isaac.
Ciaran made a very good performance. Fine blue and red lights around them, and the boys in spotless white.

18) Wayfaring Stranger
Solo Alessandro
They are now well trained on this song; Alessandro alone in the centre rear of the stage, flanked by two lines of boys in an inverted 'V' shape. Intense green lights at first.
Alessandro sang the first verse only from the back, then walked slowly toward the front of the \ stage. / While the choir sang the next verse, then the others came closer to him to form a V with Alessandro at the tip.
Nice power in the song when all the choir sings simultaneously. Then Alessandro finished alone on the last words.

19) Wonderful World
Solo Isaac.
Superb, as usual, with alternating solo sung parts by Isaac and parts sung softly by the choir. Intense white lighting.

20) Speech Ciaran, the variety of backgrounds of members of Lbera, with a small sentence in a foreign language by Alex G (Poland), Lucas (Mexico), Sam (France), Alex M (Italy), Isaac (Ireland) Taichi and (Japan). Funny, after these different languages ​​Ciaran introduced the next song indicating that it is in Latin ... :D

21) Salva Me
High Parts sung by Alex M.
Alex is placed in the background, away from others, who were themselves split into three groups of 7.
Usual choreography of hands that rise on the choruses.


22) In Dulci Jubilo (37)
Percussionist returned to the left side to beat the rhythm with his hand drum.
Very nice performance by the whole choir. The main group organized in a wide arc covering the whole stage, and two rows of newbies to each side. Beautiful pink lighting on the walls and pillars. Cheerful and upbeat song.
Cute detail, most of the boys watching Robert in the centre, but Oliver (the cover of the Japanese Angel CD) glances mainly at his neighbours to the left and right from the corner of his eyes to be sure that he is making the right moves :D

23) Nearer My God To Thee
Solo Alessandro, Lucas, Sam
For me the high point of the concert, and for everyone else I think given the length & considerable applause.
Everyone left the stage except for 5, aligned in two rows.
Behind Sam, Ciaran, Alex M, in front Alessandro and Lucas.
The 5 sang the song completely a capella.
First Alessandro alone,then joined by Lucas in a very harmonious duo. Then on the second verse Sam joined them to provide additional serious harmony, then all 5 on the last verse with higher notes, and Alessandro concluded the song alone.
A really great result !!
The 5 then quickly leave by the back of the stage.

24) Speech by Tadhg (I think), who is back on stage adorned with a length of thick silver tinsel draped across the shoulders like a scarf.
He announced the last song and thanked the audience for coming, and concluded with a 'Merry Christmas'. then all theothers returned on stage, each with a decorative garland :D .
We had already only ever seen the garlanded look on promo videos shot in their rehearsal room so I think this is the first time in a concert.

25) Joyful Joyful (all 37boys)
Newbies (without garland) joined the main group on centre stage for the last last song.
Sung with intensity by the whole choir

Much applause with calls of 'Bravo' and all the audience gets up in a standing ovation! You should have seen the happy and playful face of newbies just in front of us, a first for them to see hundreds of people stand up and cheer at length. The many hours of hard rehearsals here are their reward :D

26) Encore: Santa
Solo Isaac.
They were arranged in two arcs of concentric circles, with Isaac alone in the centre. Very nice performance, seeing and hearing it live makes me able to appreciate the song a bit more. Again standing ovation and waves from the boys and Robert went up on stage, visibly happy at this beautiful concert.
Congratulations Mr Prizeman, despite ongoing changes in the composition of the choir and soloists who frequently change, you manage to maintain the highest qualities of Libera, it is always a joy and a delight to be able to attend your concert :D
Last edited by Yorkie on Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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alcesalcesobservator
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by alcesalcesobservator » 1 year ago

[quote="Yorkie"]

10) Exultate (the mini boys join the main group)
Solo: Lucas
Lucas was up front and centre. A percussionist (with a tambourine like drum that he hit with a double ended stick by flicking his wrist) and the flautist placed themselves on either side of the stage to play the intro. quote] The drum I think would be a Bodhran, a traditional Irish/Celtic type drum, as seen here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIJXeMtnf4Q

The concert sounds amazing! It's great that there are so many newbies and mini-boys. Hopefully they all grow up to go with the touring group.

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Yorkie
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by Yorkie » 1 year ago

Yes, it was very much like the thinner one of the two and that is how he played it.
If I’ve got owt to say I says it, and if I’ve got owt to ask I asks it.


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muffin818
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by muffin818 » 1 year ago

Thank you Libera for another amazing night! :D
Our seats were nearer to the stage than I had been expecting which was great, and there was also a giant screen right in front of us so we could see really well. I caught glimpses of Sam Coates, Simon Lewis and Jonathan Barrington before the concert and Matthew Madine (not singing this time) was in the audience in front of us. I was sad not to hear Tom D-L and his wonderful treble, especially after hearing him at Guildford in May, but hopefully he will be back soon. There were a few other boys I noticed weren't there either - James and Michael Menezes, Mark U-R and Shay. The mini-boys were really cute and some of them looked so shy! I think I spotted Rocco's little brother Romeo, he looked just like him.

Some personal highlights:

The Wexford Carol and Angels We Have Heard on High: two of my favourite Libera Christmas songs, so hearing them live was really special.

Stay With Me: One of my all-time favourite Libera songs and a real treat to hear it live. I loved Merlin's voice. It looks like he will be one to watch in the future.

Carol of the Bells: Lovely to hear Gabe and Alex in the solo parts and a really joyful, uplifting song.

Libera: So happy this song is back!!! Alessandro was perfect throughout and this was definitely a highlight. He hit those high notes with ease.

Salva Me: Alex M's voice has really matured since Guildford and I was impressed with his high notes, especially in this song.

Nearer My God To Thee: This one had me in tears it was so beautiful (a couple of ladies behind me were crying too!) Alessandro started off by himself, perfect pitch and unaccompanied. I especially loved Sam's lower harmonies in the next verse.

Just want to give a shout out to the drummer. Every time he appeared on the screen, he had a massive smile on his face and he looked like he was loving every minute of it! All the people sitting near me kept laughing.
"And I saw a new heaven
For the first heaven
And the first earth
Are passed away.

Illumina perpetua.

And there shall be no more death
Neither sorrow
Nor crying
For these are passed away."

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Re: St George's 2015

Post by Choirfan » 1 year ago

Not much point in repeating what others have already said, but thanks to all involved for another amazing Libera experience at St. George's.

'Nearer My God' and 'Prayer' were the two highlights for me but it goes without saying the whole show, (Yes including 'Santa' which I couldn't get out of my head the following day!) was fantastic.

It was a great bonus for us travelling from overseas that the nine lessons and carols service at Norbury was on just two days later. It was my first time attending the church at Norbury and it really was a wonderful experience. Hearing hymns like Magnum Mysterium sung so beautifully by candle-light was priceless and an experience I won't forget. It would be great if they could time the concert and carol service like that every year.

Great fun catching up with some of the regular and not so regular attendees at both shows (though had to do a runner as soon as the carol service was over as had a train to catch at Paddington!) Throw in an evening performance of Billy Elliot on the Saturday which was amazing as usual and you have the perfect weekend :D :D :D

How I wish I could jump on a plane to go to Japan next weekend but will hold out until the usual May concert, looking forward to it already :D
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by dani » 1 year ago

Is Matthew Jensen not older than Cassius as I thought Matthew was 15 ?


Also nobody else spotted the mistake and this is not to knock them as they all sounded great but there was one mistake I picked up on wayfairing Stranger when Alessandro said Brother instead of Father in the lyrics. I only noticed as I have heard the song so much that I was saying the lyrics in my head ;)

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Yorkie
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by Yorkie » 1 year ago

dani wrote:Is Matthew Jensen not older than Cassius as I thought Matthew was 15 ?


Also nobody else spotted the mistake and this is not to knock them as they all sounded great but there was one mistake I picked up on wayfairing Stranger when Alessandro said Brother instead of Father in the lyrics. I only noticed as I have heard the song so much that I was saying the lyrics in my head ;)
You did mention that lyric change at the time and I had a feeling there were subtle differences in other songs. My (completely baseless but it amuses me) pet theory is that the boys are having a little game amongst themselves to change a word here or there for their own fun!
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by dani » 1 year ago

You did mention that lyric change at the time and I had a feeling there were subtle differences in other songs. My (completely baseless but it amuses me) pet theory is that the boys are having a little game amongst themselves to change a word here or there for their own fun![/quote]


That's true and unless you know the song of by heart you wouldn't notice.

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paul
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by paul » 1 year ago

I've just caught up and finished reading all the reviews. Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts of the night. Sounded like a wonderful concert.


Thanks again.

Paul :)
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by Robolib7 » 1 year ago

In the version of Wayfaring Stranger recorded for the Libera In America DVD, the line "I am going there to see my ...." ends differently in each of the three verses.

First verse .... father
Second verse .... mother
Third verse .... brother.

Did they do it differently at St. George's?

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Yorkie
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by Yorkie » 1 year ago

Robolib7 wrote:In the version of Wayfaring Stranger recorded for the Libera In America DVD, the line "I am going there to see my ...." ends differently in each of the three verses.

First verse .... father
Second verse .... mother
Third verse .... brother.

Did they do it differently at St. George's?
Yes, I think they did brother each time...
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Surpinto
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Re: St George's 2015

Post by Surpinto » 1 year ago

What an amazing concert it must have been. I enjoyed reading all of the excellent reviews that left me feeling like I had been there. :D

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Re: St George's 2015

Post by maartendas » 1 year ago

Yes, thanks for all the great reviews everyone! :)

As for Wayfaring stranger's lyrics: it's originally a folk song and I have heard many different versions with slight changes of lyrics, which is not uncommon for folk songs.
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