Saturday, July 15, 2017

Music and Beyond Soirée at the National Gallery of Canada - a Euphonious Banquet!

Maman, the National Gallery of Canada's famous spider stares at the Cathedral across the street
We were invited to perform for Music and Beyond's National Gallery Soirée - held at the National Gallery of Canada - downtown Ottawa.
Waiting to sing - photo credit, Andrew Jones
I had no idea what to expect. Yes, we have sung at the Gallery before, but never as part of a Festival. 

Exciting!

We were welcomed and given a schedule with a number of ten-minute singing spots in different spaces around the Gallery. 

We were escorted to our usual greenroom, which was very comforting. 
National Gallery of Canada green room
However, we didn't stay there long, before we were led into the dark underbelly of the Gallery. 
That way lies freedom -- the other way lies - a freight elevator
We were then bundled into a giant service elevator that closed with 10 foot high accordion folding metal doors. It gave us a one-way rough ride  to our singing locations.
 (most of us giggling as we watched the massive wall go by through the metal grate)

I felt a bit like an art installation being transported to my space.
My space

Maggie, soprano, was more imaginative and said she felt like we were going down into the bowels of the Starship Enterprise. 
Not out in space, but in The National Gallery of Canada

Stairwell Carollers get ready to sing in a Renaissance room - photo credit Music and Beyond
So, we sang in three locations -- two with Renaissance paintings - my favourite (both for the paintings and the acoustics!!)

 Our last few singing spots were in the Rideau Chapel.  
Rideau Chapel
We have sung many times in the Chapel over the past ten years. If you aren't aware, it is an entire chapel that was to be demolished. Instead, it was disassembled and rebuilt within the National Gallery as a testament to its beauty.

Waiting to sing  in the Rideau Chapel - photo credit, Andrew Jones
Stairwell Carollers sing in The Rideau Chapel - photo credit Friederike Knabe

So, it was an evening to remember! My only regret was that we didn't have the opportunity to hear and see more of the performers. There were so many and the few we saw, we had to rush by to our next spot. Not complaining, it was a rush to sing for such an appreciative audience (and there were lots of people in attendance!)

 It was one of those times I'd like to be in two places at once.

Here is the Facebook page for Music and Beyond where they have posted tons of great photos taken by their own photographers and submitted by members of the public. Check it out!


About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while a music student at Ottawa University. The Stairwell Carollers are ranked with the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 

A registered Canadian charity, we also help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Please DONATE to support our 40th year events for everyone! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

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