The Choral Society of Durham will perform Britten’s Saint Nicolas and Carols on Saturday, December 10 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 11 at 4:00 p.m. in Duke University Chapel on Duke’s campus. The Choral Society will be joined by orchestra and the Durham Children’s Choir.
The concert, directed by Rodney Wynkoop, will set the stage for Britten’s Saint Nicolas with several traditional English carols reverberating within the walls of the recently-restored Duke Chapel.
“Music roars and whispers around you like the wind. A choir is singing. You are on a ship on a stormy sea, you are in prison, you are in a pickle barrel! And in every scene, the real Saint Nicolas plays the hero.”
This is the spirit of the story that Britten evoked in his 1948 cantata, Saint Nicolas. It has all the high drama, spookiness, and loveliness one could wish for in the telling of the life and legends of this 4th century Greek bishop. Saint Nicolas also features sections where the audience can joins in song.
The real Saint Nicolas devoted his life to serving God, becoming an advocate for children, the poor, and sailors at sea. The popular “Pickled Boys” movement, featuring a tenor soloist and three youth soloists dramatizes a legend evocative of age-old French and German fairy tales.
Tickets are available through the Duke Box Office online or by calling 919-684-4444.