Choral Society’s Holiday Program

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The Choral Society of the Hamptons will present a holiday concert, “In Terra Pax,” on Sunday, December 8, at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church in performances at 3 and 5 p.m.

Works will include Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “Fantasia on Christmas Carols,” compositions by Cecilia McDowall and Peter Warlock, and Gerald Finzi’s “In Terra Pax.” Music director Mark Mangini will lead the concert. He will be joined by soloists Jennifer Hoffmann and Dominic Inferrera and the South Fork Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Mangini has been one of New York’s most active choral conductors for more than 30 years. His repertoire ranges from the pre-Bach era with historical instruments through numerous commissions of contemporary works. He has led several joint performances with the Choral Society and the Greenwich Village Chamber Singers, of which he is also Music Director, most notably the 2007 Lincoln Center performance with the Brooklyn Philharmonic of Lukas Foss’ monumental secular cantata, “The Prairie.”

Ms. Hoffmann, a soprano, recently appeared in “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi” with the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera and the New York Lyric Opera Theater. Previous stage highlights include Mimì in “La Bohème,” the Countess in “Le nozze di Figaro,” and Matilde Neruda in the East Coast premiere of “Il Postino.” She has appeared throughout Europe and won multiple vocal awards and competitions.

Mr. Inferrera, a baritone, has appeared in musical productions on the East End countless times. Credits include musical theater, pop, jazz, contemporary music, opera and oratorio. Standout performances include portrayals of the Son in Hugo Weisgall’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author” and the title role in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” He has been a principal baritone in “Carmen,” “Pagliacci,” “Gianni Schicchi” and “Don Giovanni.”

“The spirited works for the holidays kick off a great season,” said Daniel McKeever, the Choral Society’s president.

The hope for peace is particularly poignant in difficult times. For example, the featured work, Gerald Finzi’s ‘In Terra Pax,’ mixes the verse of the early 20th century poet Robert Bridges with words from the ‘Gospel of Luke,’ using a childlike serenity of style and stirring passages in which the voices echo the pealing of church bells.”

The inscription “pro pace” was added in the update to “Ave Maris Stella” by the composer, Ms. McDowall, after September 11, 2001. The piece describes the calming of rough waters in music that is both lush and rhythmically imaginative. The work was commissioned by a school in Portsmouth, England, a town with seaside resemblances to the South Fork.

Other pieces on the program echo the yearning for light and peace embodied in Hanukkah, Christmas and other winter holidays. Ms. McDowall’s “Christus Natus Est” is a medley of mostly medieval carols with sparkling orchestration that suggests an ancient wind band. Carols are the basis of Mr. Williams’s uplifting “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.”

“In Terra Pax” will be performed by The Choral Society of the Hamptons at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 8, at 3 and 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Discounted youth tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Preferred seating is $75. A benefit French brunch at Pierre’s in Bridgehampton at 12:30 p.m. will precede the first performance. Brunch tickets, which include the performance, are $225. For additional information, call 204-9402, email execdir@choralsocietyofthehamptons.org or visit choralsocietyofthehamptons.org.

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