From Pop to Opera and Back

Posted on Jun 6, 2016

In 1977, the Canadian Orpheus Male Choir (COMC) was founded in Hamilton by Lyn Harry, a Welshman who settled in Canada. The Welsh tradition of male-voice choirs was highly popular then, and for about 15 years the COMC was in top form, with some 90 proud Canadians producing CD recordings and going on international concert tours.

Things started to change in the mid-1990s, and, for health reasons, it grew increasingly challenging for Harry to continue conducting. Then, when he retired from COMC, a handful of choristers also packed it in. The COMC, by then a registered charitable organization, carried on, no longer singing in Welsh. It wasn’t easy to recruit new tenor, baritone, and bass members, but the "men who love to sing" shared a deep camaraderie that kept them, and their audiences, coming back. From encouraging musicianship among men, to supporting civic pride, to performing at charitable fundraisers, their passion for music and entertaining continues to provide a compelling raison d'être.

Today, the music scene of southwestern Ontario is diverse and, despite the demise of Opera Hamilton, there are many eclectic music buffs. So, the COMC is planning a very special 39th Annual Concert. On June 11 at 7pm, the Canadian Orpheus Male Choir will share the main stage at Hamilton's Dofasco Centre for The Arts (Theatre Aquarius) with internationally renowned Canadian operatic tenor, Richard Margison, and his daughter, Lauren Margison, a versatile soprano and rising star in her own right.

Presenting pop, traditional songs, musical hits and opera, the COMC's 39th Annual Concert will be a celebration of song not to be missed!

The Master of Ceremonies, Robert Missen, was recently inducted into Burlington Performing Arts Centre's Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of Gordie Tapp and Stuart Laughton. Hamilton-born Missen has been involved as a professional in the performing arts for over forty years, as a singer, agent, artists manager, producer and promoter. A former member of the Elmer Iseler Singers, Canadian Opera Company and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, he was a Founding Member of Tapestry Singers, now Tapestry Opera. He has worked with such distinguished Canadian artists as Maureen Forrester, Veronica Tennant, Michael Burgess, Stuart McLean, and The Men of the Deeps (the Cape Breton coal miners' choir).

Tickets for the concert are available from the Dofasco Centre for the Arts (Theatre Aquarius) Box Office at 190 King William Street. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Hamilton Spectator's Summer Camp Fund for children.

Doors are open all year round for interested male singers, and donations are always welcome to help defray running costs: charitable BN 134012400-RR0001. More information about the COMC is available on the website, comc.ca.

~ Shiona Mackenzie

Local posts

20150806 145453

CARDINALS ANNOUNCE NEW GAME DATES

Posted on Jun 28, 2017
Hamilton Cardinals announced today the three new game dates to make up games that were postponed due to weather and...
Hamilton Read more
19349660 10154415888552811 1108008192 o

FODEN LEADS CARDINALS TO FATHER’S DAY VICTORY

Posted on Jun 19, 2017
Hamilton looked to rebound after the loss to Burlington on Friday night and did so in IBL action at Bernie...
Hamilton Read more
June 16 vs burlington

HAMILTON SHUTOUT BY HERD

Posted on Jun 18, 2017
Hamilton and Burlington finally took to the field to play a game without Mother Nature rearing her head as the...
Hamilton Read more
19190914 10154401692822811 1463506999 n

SEVEN RUN FIRST PROPELS CARDINALS TO WIN

Posted on Jun 18, 2017
Hamilton made up a rained-out game from May with the Toronto Maple Leafs in Intercounty Baseball League action on Tuesday...
Hamilton Read more
20150806 145453

HAMILTON CARDINALS ANNOUNCE NEW GAME DATES

Posted on Jun 13, 2017
Hamilton Cardinals announced today two new dates for games that were postponed due to weather and poor field conditions at...
Hamilton Read more
19114449 10154389931977811 1563225168 n

CARDINALS TAKE IT ON THE CHIN

Posted on Jun 18, 2017
Hamilton played their second home game of the season in IBL action on Friday night which saw the visiting London...
Hamilton Read more
2017raw 431

19th Annual Riverdale ArtWalk

Posted on Jun 8, 2017
Wow, what a great weekend for the Toronto art community! On the first weekend of every June, the Artists’ Network...
Riverdale Read more
June 3 vs guelph

CARDINALS AND ROYALS SPLIT DOUBLE HEADER

Posted on Jun 4, 2017
Hamilton made their first trip to Guelph on Saturday afternoon to play a double header against the Royals. Each team...
Hamilton Read more
18928133 10154370193157811 724038194 n

LATE ERRORS COST CARDINALS

Posted on Jun 18, 2017
Hamilton finally got to play a home game at Bernie Arbour on Friday night when they hosted the Kitchener Panthers....
Hamilton Read more
May 31 vs toronto

TORONTO SLIPS PAST CARDINALS

Posted on Jun 1, 2017
After having their last four games washed out by rain the Hamilton Cardinals hit the field on Wednesday night in...
Hamilton Read more
Dsc 6047

Canada 150 "A Musical Celebration" Dundas Valley Orchestra

Posted on Jun 1, 2017
On Sunday May 28, 2017 The Dundas Valley Orchestra had a musical celebration in Dundas Driving Park culminating with a...
Dundas Read more
Cardinals profile picture

CARDINALS ANNOUNCE MAKE UP GAME DATES AND PLAYER SIGNING

Posted on May 31, 2017
Hamilton Cardinals announced today the four new dates for games that were postponed during the month of May. Last week,...
Hamilton Read more
 mg 2220

Opening of Adult Dance Studio/Club in Burlington

Posted on May 26, 2017
“Dance is the soul’s way of expressing itself,” said Lucy Karakis, owner of the Lucille’s Ball (Dance Studio/Club) in Burlington....
Greater Toronto Area Read more
18485916 1771093302906964 2708412798716584472 n

Gardening with the GARDENS Pod Project for a Good Cause

Posted on May 25, 2017
On May 18, 2017, the GARDENS Pod Project, in partnership with the Lakeshore Environmental Gardening Society (LEGS), came together to...
Toronto Read more
May 21 vs burlington bww pp

CARDINALS HOME OPENER POSTPONED BY POOR FIELD CONDITIONS

Posted on May 23, 2017
Sunday afternoon’s Intercounty Baseball League game between the Hamilton Cardinals and Burlington Herd at Bernie Arbour Stadium has been postponed...
Hamilton Read more