Main St., Kent, CT 06757. Phone: 860-619-8110.
The Kent Singers will perform Benjamin Britten's "Saint Nicolas," a cantata for chamber orchestra, on two upcoming Sundays: November 30 at 3:00 pm at the Kent School Chapel, Kent, with an introductory talk by music director Matthew Travis at 2:30 p.m.; and Dec. 7 at 7 p.m at St. John's Church, New Milford, with the pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. "Saint Nicolas" features tenor soloist Jack A. Pott, treble Will Brodhead, two pianos, organ and string quintet. Also included in the program are two excerpts from Haydn's "Nicolai Mass" and a carol by John Rutter. Saint Nicholas, the precursor of Santa Claus, lived in what is modern-day Turkey in the 4th Century, serving as the beloved Bishop of Myra. Many popular legends about him were incorporated by librettist Eric Crozier into this cantata, which Britten wrote for the centenary celebrations of Lancing College, Sussex, England in July 1948. In his pre-concert talk, Matthew Travis will discuss both the historical figure of Nicholas of Myra and the music inspired by his namesake, as well as an in-depth look at Britten's setting of his life. The Kent Singers, a small auditioned group of amateur singers from Litchfield County and the Pawling, NY area, has been performing since 1973 and first presented "Saint Nicolas" in 1982. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, with children under 12 admitted free.