Two concerts during this Dazzling Summer showcase the glorious Cal Phil Choral, prepared by Chorus Maestra Marya Basaraba.

The July 14th concert features music from Le Mis, a special 45-minute arrangement created for the Cal Phil orchestra and Chorale, our soloists, and two Broadway soloists (Randal Keith and Anne Martinez).

The Cal Phil Chorale flexes its vocal muscles on August 11th with excerpts from Carmen, perhaps the most popular opera of all time. (This event features soloists Cedric Berry, Audrey Babcock, and Annalise Staudt.)

“Carmen offers the Chorale many wonderful moments and the singers are excited,” Chorus Maestra Basaraba says. It certainly offers a lot to choose from when creating “Best Of” excerpts - the Kalmus French/English edition of the choral score of Carmen is 79 pages long! The 1875 chorus played a vital role in the creation of Carmen; Bizet had to revise some parts that they flatly refused to perform because they were “impossible to sing.” Not only that, but the chorus members were required to act, which was something really new - instead of just standing and singing, Bizet wanted them to move around the stage and also smoke, fight, and more. The managers of the Opéra-Comique objected, but finally gave in when the singers threatened to withdraw from the production!

And there’s no better venue anywhere to hear such transporting music.

“Just sit back,” advises Ms. Basaraba, “and let these 150 amazing voices fill up the soundscape in Disney Hall; if this is the first time you hear the chorus, you will be amazed at the sound of acoustic voices in that fabulous Hall - the sound is absolutely thrilling!”