Cantus and Theatre Latté Da Recreate the Christmas Truce of 1914
A new holiday offering that MSUM’s Performing Arts Series Managing Director Rebecca Sundet-Schoenwald promises will make you “cry with joy” takes the stage Thursday, Dec. 8, on the MSUM campus.
Minneapolis men’s chorus Cantus and Twin Cities theatre troupe Theater Latté Da present All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, a semi-staged dramatic musical that recalls the remarkable World War I truce between Allied Forces and German soldiers in the trenches at Christmastime in 1914.
The dramatic musical production features the entire Cantus chorus, which includes West Fargo High graduate Matthew Tintes, and three actors from Theatre Latté Da. The collaboration came about when Theatre Latté Da’s Artistic Director and the show’s creator, Peter Rothstein, attended a Cantus Christmas concert in 2005. “I was struck by not only their remarkable sound, but also how their work was pushing the boundaries of chamber music in the ways Theater Latté Da was pushing the boundaries of musical theater,” says Rothstein. “I approached Cantus’ Artistic Director Erick Lichte about collaborating on a piece about the Christmas Truce. He immediately said yes, and our work began.”
The musical score by Lichte and chorus member Timothy C. Takach consists of arrangements of European carols and war-songs for a capella voices. Text comes from actual letters and journals of soldiers, official war documents, poetry, grave stone inscriptions and an old radio broadcast. All Is Calm, in its sixth year in the Twin Cities, sells out every show. The show has also toured to rave reviews.
Tintes, who graduated from West Fargo High School and NDSU, completed his master’s in music in vocal performance at the University of Wisconsin Madison with an emphasis in opera performance. While at UW, he sang the roles of Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Arkel in Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande and the title role in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale.
After completing his studies at UW, Tintes taught voice at a number of institutions and academies, including Beloit College in Beloit, Wisc. In 2009, Tintes sang with the opera company, “Opera For the Young” where he toured Wisconsin and Minnesota educating kids about opera and music while performing an adaptation of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love. He was recently a soloist in J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor and the St. Matthew Passion with the baroque chamber ensemble, Madison Bach Musicians; soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, and PDQ Bach’s Missa Hilarious. This is his third season with Cantus.
To purchase tickets online, go to www.mnstate.edu/perform. Tickets are also available at the door or by calling the MSUM Box Office at 218.477.2271 Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are $28 for adults, $24 for seniors and $12 for students with student ID.