Arts & Entertainment

Mid-Columbia Mastersingers kick off 2015-16 season with ‘Gypsy Ballads & Mass of the Immigrants’

Mid-Columbia Mastersingers kick off their 2015-16 season next week with some Latin flair.

The Gypsy Ballads & Mass of the Immigrants concert will be performed three times in Kennewick, on Oct. 16-18.

It’s set to include works sung in Spanish — from a piece bringing to life the poems of celebrated writer Federico García Lorca, to mass movements intermixed with an English narration that tells the emotional story of a Mexican woman and her children seeking new life in the United States.

“I think the Latino community is a major cultural asset of the Tri-Cities — one that isn’t always recognized,” said Justin Raffa, artistic director. “We should celebrate that it is a significant component of who we are as the Tri-Cities.”

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Romancero Gitano, which translates to “gypsy ballads,” uses text taken from the Spanish poet, playwright and director Lorca. Mike Edmondson, a guitarist, will be featured with the choir on the piece.

“It’s not like the guitar plays this minor, second-fiddle role. The choir and the guitar are really equal in terms of importance and amount of material they get in the piece,” Raffa told the Herald. He added that the Lorca’s poems are “very passionate, very evocative. And the style of the music embraces that.”

Misa de los Inmigrantes is another powerful work.

The choir will perform with a chamber orchestra, and the piece will feature soprano Mitzi Lundberg and narrator Nikki Torres.

Henry Mollicone, the composer, also will be on hand. The performances mark the Northwest debut of the piece.

Raffa said he hopes it will inspire people to think about immigration, perhaps in a new way.

“The narration is really powerful. I love the story, and that’s one of the main reasons I picked the piece,” he said. “It’s really relevant to our world and to the Tri-Cities.”

A “Behind the Music” talk featuring Mollicone and Raffa is planned a half-hour before each show.

Performances are at 6:30 pm. Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 and 1 p.m. Oct. 18 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 520 S. Garfield St., Kennewick.

Tickets for the concert are $20 in advance or $22 at the door. Groups of 10 or more can get a special rate of $10 per ticket by calling 509-460-1766 in advance of the show. Students in grades K-12 are free.

Advance tickets are available at www.midcolumbiamastersingers.org, at the group’s office at 1177 Jadwin Ave., Richland, and at Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet, 21 Aaron Drive, also in Richland.

The Mastersingers also offer an $80 season flex pass of five tickets that are good for any concert in the current season. They’re available online.

Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529; sschilling@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @SaraTCHerald

IF YOU GO

What: Mid-Columbia Mastersingers present Gypsy Ballads & Mass of the Immigrants.

When: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 and 1 p.m. Oct. 18.

Where: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 520 S. Garfield St., Kennewick.

Tickets: $20 in advance or $22 at the door. Groups of 10 or more can get a special rate of $10 per ticket by calling 509-460-1766. Students in grades K-12 are admitted for free. Advance tickets are available at www.midcolumbiamastersingers.org, at the group’s office at 1177 Jadwin Ave., Richland and at Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet, 21 Aaron Drive, Richland.

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