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Marionnettes spreads ‘Joy’

BY ANGELA PIDDUCK Wednesday, December 12 2007

ON A scale of one to ten, I would give last weekend’s Marionettes Christmas production, Joy to the World, a nine. The group cannot even be blamed for the minus “one” as no one really has control when an over zealous “celebrated guest artiste” like pannist Len “Boogsie” Sharpe decides to solo for 20 minutes. He was joined on stage by his young protégé Johann Chuckaree, who, thankfully, was heard when he soloed in the first half of the programme.

Artistic and musical director, Gretta Taylor, the senior chorale and the youth chorale and the orchestra led by Leslie Clement succeeded in bringing joy, love and peace through a programme filled with songs of hope and belief.

The first half of the programme included the most beautiful “Inscription of Hope” by the Girls’ Choir, “Because We Believe” with soloists Marlon De Bique, Errol James and Deborah Nahous and “O Divine Redeemer” with an effortless performance by soloist Patrice Quammie accompanied by the senior choir. Excerpts from Elton John-Tim Rice’s Aida brought the curtain down for intermission.

When the Marionettes performed this piece in their mid-year concert, one reviewer compared the lost African empire of Nubia, which was hopeful it could overcome trying times, to our own society.

Soloists for the four pieces from Aida were Loretta Boes, De Bique, Jacqueline Johnson, Maegan Pollonais and Gillian Seecharan-Scott. Choreographer was Dave Williams.

The audience was able to sing along with old favourite “Adeste Fideles” which ushered in the second half of the concert as the words were printed in the programme.

This segment was filled with familiar Christmas classics, some with jazzy arrangements. The last tune before the finale was the song every audience hopes to hear at Christmas time, “O Holy Night”, and Seecharan-Scott, Nahous, De Bique, James, Kendall Sharpe and Rory Wallace did

not disappoint.

It must have been an emotional moment for Seecharan-Scott, who was singing the song in memory of her mother, Holitzia Seecharan, on the fourth anniversary of her untimely death. Holitzia sang the same arrangement on the Chorale’s first CD A Christmas Album. The chorale’s second Christmas CD Sing Noel comprising numbers from its last two Christmas concerts, will soon be available.

Taylor and her organising committee of Susan Dore, Judith Gonsalves, Errol James and Joanne Mendes are to be congratulated for delivering a high calibre production in troubled times

As Taylor explained, “They affect us all in different ways, but we continue to hope, particularly at this time of year, that things will change and that joy, love and peace will prevail.”

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