Location: California, USA
Called “the world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker magazine, and named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America in 2008, the GRAMMY® award winning ensemble Chanticleer celebrates its 35th anniversary in the 2012-13 season during which it will perform more than 100 concerts in 29 of the United States, in Europe, and in the Asia/Pacific region. Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for their “tonal luxuriance and crisply etched clarity,” Chanticleer – based in San Francisco – is known around the world as “an orchestra of voices” for the seamless blend of its twelve male voices ranging from countertenor to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to venturesome new music.
Chanticleer’s 30-concert 2012-13 Bay Area Season opens in September with The Siren’s Call. New works by Chen Yi and Michael McGlynn will add exotic flavor to a program about the lure and danger of the unknown, which also features a Vince Peterson arrangement of Tom Waits’ “Temptation.” A Chanticleer Christmas is in high demand at the Christmas season, with performances from coast to coast in venues including New York’s St. Ignatius Loyola (beginning in 2013), Walt Disney Concert Hall, and churches and missions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chanticleer’s recent addition to its catalogue of best-selling Christmas CD’s is Our Favorite Carols. A Chanticleer Christmas is broadcast annually on over 300 affiliated public radio stations nationwide.
The 2012-2013 season highlight will be the celebration on March 22nd of Chanticleer’s 35th anniversary with a show featuring jazz of the 1930’s and a number of guest artists. Chanticleer’s traditional year-end early music concert – taking the group back to its roots – will be La Serenissima, featuring the glorious music of the Venetian Renaissance.
Since Chanticleer began releasing recordings in 1981, the group has sold well over a million copies and won two GRAMMY® awards. Chanticleer’s recordings are distributed by Chanticleer, Rhino Records and iTunes among others, and are available on Chanticleer’s website, www.chanticleer.org. New this season is a studio recording, By Request, an eclectic selection of music requested by audiences, from Byrd to indie-pop. Chanticleer also releases a live recording of its current tour program, The Siren’s Call, on its Chanticleer Live in Concert (CLIC) series.
With the help of individual contributions, foundation and corporate support, the Ensemble involves over 5,000 young people annually in its extensive education program. The 2010-11 season saw the creation of the Louis A. Botto (LAB) Choir—an after school honors program for high school and college students—which was added to the ongoing program of in-school clinics and workshops, Chanticleer Youth Choral Festivals™ in the Bay Area and around the country including the National Youth Choral Festival every four years, master classes for university students nationwide, and the Chanticleer in Sonoma summer workshop for adult choral singers. The Singing Life—a documentary about Chanticleer’s work with young people—was released in 2008. In 2010, Chanticleer’s education program was recognized by the Chorus America Education Outreach Award.
Chanticleer’s long-standing commitment to commissioning and performing new works was honored in 2008 by the inaugural Dale Warland/Chorus America Commissioning Award and the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming for the 2006-07 Season in which ten new works were premiered. Among the seventy composers commissioned in Chanticleer’s history are Mark Adamo, Mason Bates, Régis Campo, Chen Yi, David Conte, Shawn Crouch, Douglas J. Cuomo, Brent Michael Davids, Anthony Davis, Guido López-Gavilán, William Hawley, Jake Heggie, Jackson Hill, Kamran Ince, Jeeyoung Kim, Tania León, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Michael McGlynn, Peter Michaelides, John Musto, Tarik O’Regan, Roxanna Panufnik, Shulamit Ran, Bernard Rands, Steven Sametz, Carlos Sanchez-Guttierez, Jan Sandström, Paul Schoenfield, Steven Stucky, John Tavener, Augusta Read Thomas and Janike Vandervelde.
Named for the “clear-singing” rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Chanticleer was founded in 1978 by tenor Louis Botto, who sang in the Ensemble until 1989 and served as Artistic Director until his death in 1997.
Chanticleer is the current recipient of major grants from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, The E. Nakamichi Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, The Bob Ross Foundation, Wells Fargo Bank, Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, and The National Endowment for the Arts. Chanticleer’s activities as a not-for-profit corporation are supported by its administrative staff and Board of Trustees.
JACE WITTIG, Interim Music Director, is pleased to be in his seventh season with Chanticleer. An Indianapolis native, he began his musical training early with the Indianapolis Children's Choir, touring often in North America and Europe. He received his B.M. in Vocal Performance at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, studying voice with Dr. Craig Priebe and piano with Dr. Jim Helton. Before joining Chanticleer, he sang in Indianapolis with Cantabile and also worked as a studio singer at AireBorn Studios. He has worked as an Artist in Residence at the San Francisco School of the Arts, teaching in the classroom and directing small ensembles. His other interests include stumbling through old piano music and cooking for his loved ones. He is glad to have the unending support of his friends and family, and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Chanticleer.