This was a very energetic and joyous vocal concert. The company opened with a medley from the Strauss operetta A Night in Venice: “The Party of the Year,” “Gaiety in Venice,” and “When You’re in Love.” They continued in the operetta mode with a piece from Franz Lehar’s The Land of Smiles, “One More Ball.”
Then, they introduced “The Hard Knock Kids,” a group of students from Zablocki school, “wrangled” by chorus member Barbara Czarkowski, on “Do Re Mi” from The Sound of Music.
One of the featured soloists, Geraint Wilkes, was unfortunately ill that night, so Artistic Director Trefor Williams filled in with a solo on a traditional Welsh ballad (I’m afraid I didn’t catch the title), which he juxtaposed with the “South Wales pub version,” which had humorous English lyrics to the same tune.
The chorus then continued with a very lively version of “When the Saints go Marchin’ In,” followed by “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” by Eric Idle, from The Life of Brian.
The group had a very upbeat and interesting arrangement of Route 66, which has been a past favorite, and ended the first half back in The Land of Smiles, with “Patiently Smiling,” and “You Are My Heart’s Delight.”
The second half opened with ‘We’ll Keep a Welcome,” by Jones, Joshua, and Harper, followed by a lovely solo by Claire Bilicki on “O Mio Babbino Caro,” from the opera Gianni Schicchi.
Next, was a nice version of “Follow Me,” by John Denver, and a rousing rendition of “Seize the Day,” from the musical Newsies.
Then, the kids were back for, “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” from Annie, which was simply charming.
Mr. Williams soloed again with “If I Can Help Somebody,” a very moving anthem. The chorus took over again with “At the End of the Day,” and “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Miserables.
Next up was “Rhythm of Life,” from Sweet Charity, and an audience sing-along on “Edelweiss” from Sound of Music.
The concert wound up with “King Champagne” from Die Fledermaus, and “Goodbye!” from The Producers.
This concert was full of lovely music, very well sung. A couple of songs were accompanied by dancers Sian Davis and Matthew Nienhaus, notably “One More Ball,” and did a very nice job.
We’ve enjoyed MMV concerts before, and probably will again soon, as they have a very ambitious and interesting 2016-2017 season coming up.
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