The Life of Saint Nicolas in Song in Vancouver!

The Life of St. Nicolas in Song

The Vancouver Bach Choir Premiere of Britten’s Festive Cantata Saint Nicolas

Under the baton of Leslie Dala, celebrated tenor soloist Asitha Tennekoon, the VSO School of Music Sinfonietta, pianists Stephen Smith and Kin Ming Wong, and over 250 choral singers from age 5 to adult perform in a concert fit for Santa Claus himself.

Vancouver, BC: 

On November 30, the Vancouver Bach Choir (VBC) returns to the Orpheum stage with its premiere of Benjamin Britten’s festive cantata Saint Nicolas. For the first time in its 91 year history, the Vancouver Bach Choir and Children’s Choirs will charm audiences with a festive choral music celebration of one of the world’s most adored saints: Saint Nicolas, of course better known as Santa Claus.

The VBC is delighted to be joined by tenor soloist Asitha Tennekoon. The Sri Lankan born tenor has quickly established himself as one of Canada’s most impressive and versatile singing artists. Having drawn critical acclaim and awards for many years in Toronto’s opera and performance circles, Tennekoon has been making his mark of late in Vancouver’s music scene. Recent local performances include Bridge of Dreams with musica intima, Rivers of Grief at Indie Fest, and Hasalala Danxalax at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC.

In addition to tenor solo, the Saint Nicolas cantata is scored for multiple choirs, piano duet, organ, strings, and percussion. Joined by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music Sinfonietta and Stephen Smith and Kin Ming Wong on piano, it is the perfect piece to showcase the talents of the multi-generational Vancouver Bach Family of Choirs. Over 250 children and adults will perform in this choral spectacular, with members from the Vancouver Bach Children’s Choirs, Sarabande and full symphonic choir taking the stage. 

Bach Choir

VBC Music Director Leslie Dala shares his excitement in advance of presenting Britten’s festive cantata: “Saint Nicolas is all about wonder: the man we all know and cherish as Santa Claus. This joyful and delicious piece examines elements of his life, his legacy and his miracles. We are so excited to welcome you to this event.” The joyful, colourful, cheery and dramatic piece makes the perfect concert to kick off the festive season.

“We keep his memory alive in legends that our children and
Their children’s children treasure still.”

Text from Britten’s Saint Nicolas cantata

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at

About the Vancouver Bach Choir: The Vancouver Bach Choir (VBC), celebrating its 91st season, is an award-winning symphonic choir committed to offering vibrant and culturally diverse choral experiences to its audiences. 

As one of the largest choral organizations in Canada, the Vancouver Bach Choir explores a wide range of repertoire from the past to the present with passion and commitment. With eight choirs ranging in age from 5 to 80, the VBC continues to pursue choral excellence at all levels and presents numerous concerts each year through the metro Vancouver region.

Over the past eight decades, the choir has performed with numerous world-class musicians. Currently under the baton of Maestro Leslie Dala, the VBC continues its mission and tradition to share the beauty of new and traditional choral music with as wide an audience as possible.

Listing Information:

Vancouver Bach Choir presents:

Benjamin Britten’s Saint Nicolas
November 30th, 2021 | 7:30pmOrpheum Theatre

Ticket Prices: $20-$70

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