Three women in perfect and effortless harmony, all with glorious voices, all capable of covering a diverse repertoire and all equally capable of sharing undeniable musical abilities in a way that keeps an entire audience in their thrall. That was the gift the extraordinarily talented a cappella group, The Kallisto Trio, gave South Okanagan Concert Society goers last week. It was evening not have been missed!
From the first intriguing moment at the start when the light tinkle of a temple bell filled a darkened candlelight room until the last notes of “Auld Lang Syne” faded away at the end, the audience was in awe. It was a very special evening. Not surprisingly, words fail to do justice. It was all about hearing and an evening filled with glorious sounds. The artistry, the presentation, the music choices, the Trio’s own obvious enjoyment with the music and each other filled the room. It often left us in awe. Many times as the last clear notes of a piece faded away, the audience was utterly silent before the room filled with audible sighs and then enthusiastic applause. Comments like “amazing and joyous voices”, “they were born to sing”,“what a treat!” “they sparkle, ” filled the room at the Oliver Alliance Church both at intermission and when the evening closed. No one wanted it to end.
Lead soprano Catherine Laub, soprano Karen Mang and mezzo soprano Fabiano Katz all bring extensive and formal training to their craft. They are writers, composers, conductors, teachers and soloists as well. What is not so easily acquired, however, is the passion, good humour, friendship and musical curiosity that underlines what they do so well. Their varied program demonstrated those rarer qualities, ones that result in true audience engagement. It was also inspirational.
One could go on forever about their technical capabilities, perfect balance and blend, excellent diction, controlled phrasing and more. I will focus rather on their ability to have the audience go beyond just hearing a well presented note but going one step further enabling us to “feel” that note and the story behind it. We heard the ice crack in “Frobisher Bay”. We shared the emotion underscoring “Love Is Not All”. We struggled to stay in our seats with the rollicking French Canadian “Reel a Bouche”. I’d be remiss if I also didn’t note the extra dimension provided by their instrumentation. It brought more delicious sounds into their vocal mix – singing bowls, temple bells, a child’s xylophone, a celtic drum, recorders, clarinet, guitar and, best of all, the kazoo. As kazoo players they are unparalleled! Equally interesting is that fully one half of their program featured Canadian content including premiering two touching pieces by Vancouver born cellist Stefan Hintersteininger.
One particular piece continues to resonate with this reviewer. Titled “Remember” with words by late Victoria poet Christina Rosetti and lyrics by Canadian Stephen Chatman, the song entreated the listener to “remember me”. Ladies of the Kallisto Trio, be assured we certainly will remember you. Thank you for truly lovely evening.