Gather ‘round The Christmas Calabash with The Lydians

There are few things more universal among indigenous peoples of our climates than the calabash.  A truly versatile marvel of tropical regions; the calabash is food, music (drum) and bearer of objects treasured and revered, and spirits feared and has been the inspiration for countless proverbs and is itself riddled in mystery. The calabash tree and fruit are deeply ingrained in Caribbean folk and craft, holding us as a people together within its hollow womb, nurturing us with its sweet flesh and the waters it captures within. The calabash provides joy – and mirroring our sorrow with its sound and resonance as instrument of music.

 We can spin many things from the calabash. For The Lydians this Christmas, it takes little to juxtapose the idea of a calabash against the blessed womb, the golden gourd which brought forth our lord, born with might, and sweet with the promise of heaven. Through song, steel and dance, The Lydians will tell the story of ‘Mary and the Golden Calabash’.

The Lydians Christmas Calabash 2016

‘A Christmas Calabash’ original art and design by Morgan Lewis

 As the story unfolds, audience members will be invited to gather together in music as The Lydians sing joyfully of the birth of the Christ child. The concert will follow a creolized re-imagining of the journey of The Virgin Mary from the holy cradle to the river side – ‘with we calabash’, where a community will gather together in celebration to laugh, sing and have a ball in celebration of the saviour’s arrival.

 In ‘A Christmas Calabash’ a selection from the salsa mass, the Missa Salsera by Rosado will return, along with a special Lydian Steel performance of the samba-themed Brazilian Sleigh Bells. The Bishop Anstey Junior School will also make a guest appearance to offer Christmas selections.

 Original music composed and arranged for the full choir, soloists and ensembles will be premiered this year: “Ave Maria-Oye/Oh Mary” from Lydian Steel member and composer Astra Noel, a jazzy rendition of I’ll Be Home For Christmas with “sun and calypso” instead of “snow and mistletoe” by eccentric Jazz arranger Mark Brewster and an old time Calypso Christmas medley featuring The Mighty Spoiler, Lord Kitchener and other comedic numbers arranged by Folk and Calypso arranger John Jacob. A tribute to the Lara Brothers in a Parang medley will be also featured, along with excerpts from the works of Tchesnokoff, Handel and Bach.

The concert is being supported by some exciting creative collaborators including Peter Minshall, who is delighted to have played one of the shepherds to this flock, Wendell Manwarren, noted Creative Director and Performer with 3Canal who will be directing The Lydians on stage, Gillian Bishop, Designer and Jeweller taking charge of set design, Claudette Edwards, stellar Wardrobe Mistress who keeps the choir looking great, Celia Wells, noted lighting designer and many others who support the effort to ensure that Lydians presents the highest quality stage performance.

 The grand finale of the show, will sweep audiences into the traditional season favourites and standards along with the Hallelujah Chorus with Tassa drums and a never-before seen surprise ending, proclaiming the greatness of God.

Ticket discount specials will be available exclusively at the Queen’s Hall Box Office by calling 624-4281 Ext1 or for more information on how to access tickets in the East, Central and South Trinidad please call the Lydians ticket hotlines at 338-602 or 268-9556. All other inquiries: thelydiansingers@yahoo.com

The Lydians

The Lydians | Photo courtesy: Buzz.TT

 MORE INFO:

Venue: Queen’s Hall Auditorium, Port of Spain

Dates and Times: Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th December 2016 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday 18th December 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

 Tickets are currently available from The Queen’s Hall Box Office (624-4281 Ext1), Signature 2000, Hotel Normandie (624-2958), La Tropical Flower Shop, Patna Street St. James (628-0769), Home Land Furnishings | Fabric Land – Piarco Plaza, Piarco (669-8626) -Gulf City Mall, La Romaine (657-2220), High Street San Fernando (657-0178) and all members of the Lydians or by calling the ticket hotlines: 338-602 or 268-9556. All other inquiries: thelydiansingers@yahoo.com

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