This Friday, internationally renowned vocal ensemble, musica intima, will finally perform live in Campbell River at Rivercity Stage just off Ironwood and 12th.
Finally, because the Vancouver-based group has been making exquisite music for nearly 30 years, and toured the province and country numerous times, but Campbell River has never been on the itinerary until now. But also, because planning for this show began in 2019 and was originally on the books for the fall of 2020.
“I’ve been lucky enough to see intima perform several times over the years,” said Lucas Schuller from Highway 19 Concerts. “It doesn’t matter if you think you like choral music or classical music or not. You can’t not be moved by what they do as a collective of human voices.”
As an ensemble and an organization, musica intima has established a mandate that echoes the first rehearsals over wine in founder Michael Murray’s dining room in 1992: to foster human connection through vocal music. Their programming reflects the organization’s three pillars: prioritizing music from diverse voices, with a focus on women composers; championing new works by contemporary Canadian composers; and centering the voices of Indigenous artists.
Through their current season musica intima is working with two composers from Indigneous backgrounds: Sherryl Sewapagaham, of Cree-Dene ancestry, and Andrew Balfour, of Cree descent. Balfour is curating a full programme with musica intima called Nagamo, which will include Elizabethan choral music translated into First Nations’ Languages, as well as concert artwork commissioned from Campbell River resident and Ligwilda’xw visual artist Sonny Assu. Nagamo will premiere in Vancouver on May 27, but selections by both Balfour and Sewapagaham will be included in Friday’s program along with a range of innovative and bold new choral works from Vancouverites Alfredo Santa Ana and Leslie Uyeda, to lush and exciting works from Iceland and Estonia, rounding out with arrangements of favourite popular songs by musica intima members.
Members of the group will also be giving a workshop for young, local choristers on Saturday morning before they depart for the next stop on their coastal tour that also includes Gibsons, Powell River, Denman and Port Alberni.
Friday’s concert was briefly sold out just prior to the lifting of the 50% capacity limits on ticketed events. With full capacity a few tickets are still available through the Tidemark box office but likely won’t be for long.