The Bear stood mockingly, as the seals corralled their catch of salmon, while the Raven watched. Four hundred years ago this would have been a typical scene in Southeast Alaska, but on this Mother's Day it was a melding of ancient orchestrations. Monteverdi's Vespers met the Tlingit culture in the Commons of the Juneau-Douglas High School on this Sunday.
The encased Bear was standing with its arms outstretched behind the conductor as if mocking him while the instruments, soloists, choirs and chorus sang Monteverdi's Vespers on the 400th anniversary of its debut. Above the orchestra and audience, the seals orchestrated their catch of salmon in the hanging mobile artwork as the chorus of singers sang the Mass. I could have sworn that I heard the Raven atop the totem inside the Commons singing along in many of the pieces. What a beautiful venue to see and hear all the performers bring together a great orchestration. Thank you Conductor Bruce Simonson, the Juneau Bach Society, Juneau Bach Society Chorus, Alaska Youth Choir and JDHS Chamber Choir for a very uplifting and beautiful performance.
John C. Wynne