|Performance Date||December 7, 2008|
|Additional Performances||12/12 (7:30pm), 12/13 (7:30pm), 12/14 (4:00pm)|
|Location||12/7 Plymouth Congregational Church, 12/12 Trinity Lutheran Church, 12/13 Normandale Lutheran Church, 12/14 Plymouth Congregational Church|
|Performance Title||Welcome Christmas!|
VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers; Sonja Tenglblad; orchestra
|About The Piece||
The plot of El Niño de los Andes (The Child of the Andes) draws on elements of the Christmas story, Cinderella, and the mythology of Pachamama — the Andean Mother Earth. Maria, a young Andean woman escapes with her love, Manuel, from her cruel stepmother who is forcing her into an arranged marriage. Maria is pregnant with Manuel’s child, and they hope to start a new life elsewhere. They seek shelter in a grotto hidden in the Andean mountains where Maria gives birth to the child. Outside, as the child is born, snows falls while the sun shines, and condors and doves fly together. The local shaman interprets these signs as a message from Pachamama, whose mountains have sheltered the fugitives. The villagers have been called upon by Pachamama to protect the child, and the parents, and in so doing to honor and protect Mother Earth. The music is inspired by Andean melodies and Andean instrumental colors — something I have loved since my early years as a composer in Ecuador, my native country. I was delighted that Philip Brunelle was receptive to the idea of me writing this cantata. I have always loved the Christmas season with its sounds, colors and flavors, and this commission was the opportunity for me to evoke these elements in an Andean context, with the added privilege of working with the outstanding and exemplary VocalEssence. --Diego Luzuriaga
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