Congratulations to Apollo's Fire, which took home its first Grammy award Sunday for Best Solo Vocal Album for "Songs of Orpheus: Monteverdi, Caccini, d'India and Landi." 

Accepting the award at the 61st annual ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles were tenor Karim Sulayman, conductor Jeanette Sorrell and the Apollo's Fire ensemble.

The baroque orchestra based in Cleveland thanks all the musicians who performed on the album: Julie Andrijeski, Johann Novom, William Simms, Brian Kay, Rene Schiffer, Karina Schmitz and Rebecca Landell Reed. The organization also thanks producer Erica Brenner, recording engineer Ian Dobie, mixing/mastering engineer Daniel Shores and record label AVIE of London.

The album, which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Classical Chart, features the "lucid, velvety tenor and pop-star charisma" of Sulayman, said BBC Music Magazine. "Songs of Orpheus" also was the Critic’s Choice in Opera News 2018 and debuted at No. 3 on the  iTunes Classical Chart.

This was Apollo's Fire's first Grammy nomination and Lebanese-American Sulayman's debut solo album with the ensemble. He is a Chicago native.

To hear the album, see https://spoti.fi/2Dwb4yJ. To purchase it for $20, see https://apollosfire.org/product/songs-of-orpheus.

 

Chriss in Canton

Alcee Chriss III, the internationally award-winning organist who started as the new organist and director of music at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Akron in the fall, has another concert coming up. He'll perform a full-length organ recital at 4 p.m. Sunday at Christ Presbyterian Church, 530 Tuscarawas St. W in Canton.

Chriss' repertoire, including works by Bach, Whitlock, Elgar and Reger, will display the tonal qualities of the church's four-manual, 72-rank Schantz organ.

"It is more of a virtuoso, PERFORMERS recital than the previous 'Christmas-themed' one" Chriss last performed at Westminster, he said by email. The concert is free. For more information, call 330-456-8113 or see www.cantoncpc.org.

 

Men's chorus in Akron

The Baldwin Wallace Men’s Chorus and St. Sebastian Parish Choir will perform in concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Sebastian, 476 Mull Ave., Akron.

The 110-member male chorus will present classical repertoire for male glee club, contemporary pieces and spirituals at the free concert. The collegiate, semi-professional, auditioned glee club's members cover a 70-year age span. Frank Bianchi directs the BW Chorus and Lynn Steward is director of music at St. Sebastian.

 

Spanish language theater

Cleveland Public Theatre & Teatro Público de Cleveland will present "La Gringa (Spanish)," a play by Carmen Rivera performed in Spanish with English subtitles, Thursday through March 2.

The comedy, directed by Ernesto Luna Camargo, will preview at 7 p.m. Thursday and open at 7 p.m. Friday at James Levin Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave., Cleveland. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays as well as Monday nights.

Teatro Publico de Cleveland, a Latino theater company, launched at Cleveland Public Theatre in 2013. The ensemble's purpose is to share the rich diversity and perspectives of the Latino-Cleveland culture.

"La Gringa (Spanish)" is the story of a young women whose identity is caught between two worlds, born and raised in New York, but with roots in Puerto Rico, her family's native country. The OBIE Award-winning play is the longest-running Spanish language play in off-Broadway history.

"Just before we started rehearsals, I was talking with friends of mine, all immigrants from different countries," Cleveland director Camargo, a native of Uruguay, said in a news release.

"Somebody asked me how I'm feeling, being an immigrant. And I said, 'I feel like I don't have a homeland anymore.' Because when you move, your home is in another place. You keep your roots, but you are in another place. And that's a conflict many people have — where do you belong after you've moved? We call it destierro [exile]. It's like a plant you pull from the ground and put in another place."

Tickets are $15-35. See www.cptonline.org or call 216-631-2727 Ext. 501.

 

Mark your calendars

The venerated Vienna Boys Choir, whose 100 members ages 10-14 from dozens of nations are divided into four touring groups, give a combined 300 performances each year to almost half a million people. Their latest U.S. tour will land at Wooster's Fisher Auditorium, 1680 Madison Ave., at 7 p.m. March 24.

The program will include sacred, secular, folk and popular titles, with a focus on the great Viennese musical traditions. Call 330-263-5509 for tickets to the Wooster show.

The group appeared in Akron for the Christmas season in 2017. For this tour, the choir's other Ohio appearances will be in Springfield on March 16, Findlay March 23 and Cincinnati March 25.

 

Arts writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or kclawson@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her at @KerryClawsonABJ or www.facebook.com/kclawsonabj.