Celebrating choral music in Croatia
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Regarding "Choirs That Move a Nation" [Dec. 19]: It's encouraging to see this tradition surviving in an age when people listen to music with headphones.
Throughout the picturesque Dalmatian coast of Croatia, people congregate in restaurants, theaters, courtyards, on boat docks and in private homes to share the choral music known as klapa. Strangers are welcomed and are not expected to pay at these informal gatherings.
Praise for 'ugly, lovely' Swansea
Regarding "Choirs That Move a Nation" [Dec. 19]: I am not a native of Swansea, Wales, having been brought up in the north of England on the edge of an industrial belt that is similar to South Wales. These both suffered from the legacy of the Industrial Revolution and may find echoes in Pittsburgh, Detroit or West Virginia.
However, Swansea is much more than the squalid downtown you portray. People tend to forget that the Mumbles and other holiday areas are also part of the city and county.
Swansea may still be Dylan Thomas' "ugly, lovely" city, but there have been immense efforts (not always successful) to improve the place over the years since Adolf Hitler's bombers blasted it.
Although you make a passing allusion to it, the Morriston Orpheus Choir is among the most traveled (and recorded) of them all. Although other choirs may be technically competent or just jolly singing clubs, they tend to stay put with very few away concerts. The Orpheus has been crisscrossing Britain for many years and launched its first intercontinental tour to the U.S. in 1973. We have traveled the world for more than 30 years and have met every challenge to our ability to master tunes and languages from Maori to Mandarin. The choir's progressive management, adventurous choristers and inspired and inspiring musical director (with first-class musical staff in support) have contributed to this.
Morriston Orpheus Choir