By Lourdes Quijada
If you’ve already given up on those new year’s resolutions, you can get a second chance before the month is out.
Monday, Dec 09th
Last update:08:51:25 AM GMT
Timing is everything, and organizing a slow moving parade on the Cinta Costera at a time when thousands of seasonal holidaymakers are returning to the city is not good timing.
On the Town with Zuleira
CASCO VIEJO'S latest boutique hotel. The Magnolia Inn, is the site of the 12th Night (January 6) party to mark the end of Christmas celebrations for CanadaPLUS Club members and friends.
By Lourdes Quijada
Panama’s first annual Carols By Candlelight event held in Casco Viejo was a universally recognized success on Saturday, December 3 and, it appears,a new tradition has been created.
Some 2000 spectators waved lighted candles, and under star filled skies sang along with eight performing groups who were gathered on the steps of Panama’s Cultural Institute in Plaza de Francia. They went away happy after over two hours of outstanding seasonal entertainment far from the jingle of cash registers.
Ambassadors from several countries, including Canada, The UK and Germany were among the audience, for an event organized by the CanadaPLUS Club headed by David Young. Proceeds will aid Fundacion Calicanto, a group that works to give practical help to women and children in the area He was backed by a team of volunteers neatly decked out in Green Tee Shirts emblazoned with the Carols by Candlelight logo.
Many early arrivals got a double helping of entertainment as they watched and applauded last minute rehearsals.
The performance proper kicked off with seasonal harmonies from the Fundacion Danilo Perez Ensemble with instruments and singers who were joined by the audience, with candles waving on high, in the singing of Jingle Bells. The course was set for an evening of celebration.
They were followed by a children’s choir that had it’s beginnings in a community center in Curundu under the aegis of the Crossroads Bible Church, Coro De Ninos Juntos Podemos under the direction of Ricardo Noriega.
Panama Cantus,an adult choral group from many countries, was next up. The Cantus members have already built a reputation as fund raising quality performers, who will be giving a concert in St Lukes Cathedral on December 11. After some traditional presentations they sang a Panamanian version of the Twelve Days of Christmas, which drew prolonged applause from the appreciative audience.
Coro de Colegio Bradera celebrated school choir founded by Margarita Troesch with a small group of children which has expanded to 65, and has performed in Opera Panama productions, gave a polished rendering, of Latin American carols complete with mimes. Their rendering of El Burrito Sabanero was especially appreciated by expats as well as Panamanians. They were directed by Elisa Troesch with Margarita at the piano.
A change of pace came with the family quartet G-Harmony, whose Christmas album Nacio Varon has just been released and found many buyers during the evening. The group has produced two previous albums, and promises to go far.
From soft harmony to stars of Fundacion Opera Panama. The founder and director Irena Sylvya, accompanied by Elisa Troesch, Yaisury Rodriguez, Gracias Saavedra, Alfonso Baysa and Moises Guevaa provided polished renderings of Do You Hear What I Hear? and O Holy Night. They then led the audience nthey had inspired singing Hark The Herald Angels Sing.
Coro Rendicion with its female singers elegantly clad in red gowns received a standing ovation, after their performance reflecting the fact that they took first prize last year at Canta Chorus organized by Medcom and Panama City.
The last performing group leading up to the finale, was the children’s choir from the Instituto Nuestra Snra De Fatima directed byMarie Guillot. They performed admirably in French and German, a tribute to their dedicated director.
Ans aa all good things must come to an end, over 120 performers returned for the Fianale. Opera Panama led off with Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful) in Latin, the combined choirs sang it in Spanish and English, and then the audience joined in using the language of their choice. I heard at least three languages, a truly multi-cultural event.
A wonderful end to an enchanting evening, and more coming next year.
The joint MC’s were Frank Castagnet andMarie Lourdes Tarte and the show was produced by Magali Teillol
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