Trio wows Oliver audience

by Sue Morhun

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.

Kallisto – Voices to make you float on air

by Marion Boyd, South Okanagan Concert Society

Three beautiful women have joined their voices and spirits to create Kallisto – an incomparable a cappella trio experience on stage Friday, November 25th in Oliver.

Presented by the South Okanagan Concert Society, the performance will be at the new time of 7:30 pm. As a result of the fire which destroyed the Venables Auditorium, the temporary venue for this concert season is the Oliver Alliance Church, 36853 99th Street, just off Highway 97 at the northern ‘Welcome to Oliver’ sign.

Kallisto draws inspiration and brings music to life from the Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic periods and then shifts effortlessly to jazz standards, pop hits, world music and gospel. The varied programme November 25th will include a few musical Christmas treats as well.

Fabiana Katz, Karen Mang and Catherine Laub let their personalities play off each other on stage. They captivate audiences with their flawlessly tuned voices and their passion for creativity and showmanship. Their trio, named after a lovely girl in a Greek myth, leaves room to explore through words and music a world of gods and goddesses, love and pathos, all served with a dollup of humour.

Argentian-Canadian mezzo-soprano, Fabiana, has a Masters degree in Choral Conducting and sings with the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Her expertise is in Baroque music as well as Spanish and Latin American music. Catherine, the lead soprano, has a Masters degree in Voice Performance and was on stage in New York before moving to Vancouver in 2006. She sings with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and is a published composer, author, voice teacher and yoga teacher. Karen Mang delights in theatre, entertaining and excellent musicianship. A soprano, she is the assistant conductor of the Vancouver Children’s Choir and is active as a soloist in the Vancouver area.

Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss Esthetics in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door. The best buy is a flexible pass for four admissions for only $60. The admissions can be used separately or in combination. Single admission is $20 and young people age 17 and under are welcome to attend concerts free.

If you are feeling tired by the time Friday rolls around and wondering if you can gather the energy to appear at the concert, think of our SOCS President, Janet Marcotte. She often feels exhausted at the end of a demanding week of teaching. She also notes that by the end of a concert of fine music, she is rejuvenated and floating on air. Try it. It just might work for you too!!