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Byzantine Chant and La Juive

There will be an interesting concert this evening at St. Matthew's Cathedral in downtown Washington (1725 Rhode Island Avenue NW). Beginning at 7:30 pm, the Romeiko Ensemble, a group directed by Dr. Yiorgos Bilalis, will perform a program of historical music from Byzantine and Ottoman Greece and Turkey. The concert, called From Constantinople to Istanbul: A Sacred Journey of Byzantine and Ottoman Chant, has been sponsored by the Western Policy Center. Entrance is free, but a suggested donation of $20 will be solicited at the door. Tonight will be the first time I hear the group perform: they are comprised of 21 singers and 6 Turkish musicians on kemenche (spike fiddle), kanun (zither), ney (flute), tanbur (fretted long-necked lute), saz (small fretted lute), and kudum (kettle drums). They will perform the same program tomorrow, December 13, at 8 pm in St. Bartholomew's Church, on Park Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets, in New York City. I think you may be able to hear the group from the taping of when they appeared on the show Soundcheck on WNYC radio, on December 8.

Also, don't forget to do your part for opera in America and listen to the Met broadcast of Halévy's opera La Juive (see my post on November 15, La Juive at the Met) tomorrow (Saturday), December 13, at 1 pm.

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