May 19, 2018

Positivity: Sistine Chapel Choir’s Met performance a real ‘wow moment’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From New York City:

May 9, 2018 / 03:08 pm

A surprise performance by the Sistine Chapel Choir at the Met Gala this week left attendees in awe and helped convey the joy and beauty of the Church, said one of the organizers of the performance.

The choir’s performance had not been announced in advance, coming as a surprise to those present at the May 7 Met Gala, which takes place annually on the first Monday of May and serves as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

This year the Met exhibition, which opens May 10 and runs through October 2018, carries the theme “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” and features around 40 items on loan from the Vatican.

The items, many of which come from the Sistine Chapel Sacristy’s Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, range in time period from the mid-1700s up to the pontificate of Saint John Paul II.

Given the special nature of the Vatican items, they will be set up in a separate display from the other pieces, which include religious art from the Met collection itself and around 150 designer fashion pieces intended to pay homage to Catholicism and which draw inspiration from Catholic iconography, liturgy and other aspects of the faith tradition.

John Hale, one of the leading organizers of the choir’s surprise performance at the gala, told CNA that the evening “was really a wow-moment.”

Hale sits on the board of directors for the Vatican’s Patrons of the Arts, which consists of different chapters, most of which are in the United States, who fund restoration projects for the priceless treasures housed in the Vatican Museums.

At one point after the performance, Hale said Anna Wintour, Met board member and editor-in-chief of the fashion magazine Vogue, told him guests were unusually silent, commenting that “this is the quietest I’ve ever seen for this gala.”

Wintour, Hale said, told him attendees “were absolutely enthralled” by the performance. That sentiment, he added, “summed it up beautifully.”

“I spoke with a number of the attendees and mixed with them right after the performance and it was perfect silence, there was very good applause and reaction…so many folks were just really moved.”

Commonly referred to as “the pope’s choir,” the Sistine Chapel Choir consists of 20 professional singers from around the world, as well as a treble section composed of 35 boys aged 9-13, called the Pueri Cantores.

With a 1,500-year history, the Sistine Chapel Choir is believed to be the oldest active choir in the world. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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