The Christmas masterpiece, “Gracias Choir’s Christmas Cantata” that 130,000 Americans in 28 cities of the US gave standing ovation and cheers began its first performance of the Cantata Tour in Korea on November 19th in Ansan.
The Ansan Arts Center lobby was filled with Ansan citizens as they gathered to see the masterpiece performance, “Christmas Cantata” of the Gracias Choir that received grand prize from the International Chamber Choir Competition in Europe.
People invited by acquaintances on a warmer weather than last year and students invited through donation by companies waited for the performance waited for the performance as they took pictures at the photozone.
The Gracias Christmas Cantata is a composite arts performance comprised of opera and musical under the theme of Christmas. It shares the true meaning of Christmas and it is a music concert in which the entire family can enjoy beautiful Christmas classics.
1,250 seats were filled and the bell announcing the beginning of the show rang. As the 1st Act opened, the fantastic stage techniques impressed the audience at once. The sound of the Israelites that desperately wait for the Messiah under Roman oppression and sing ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’ is smoldering, and the pain of the people were delivered to the audience.
As baby Jesus is born into the lowly manger, the cold and dark stable suddenly brightens up at once and becomes a place filled with joy.
“At the 1st Act, the meaning of Jesus Christ’s birth deeply touched my heart and I could not take my eyes off the soulful acting of the Gracias. I was so moved by the love of Jesus that I shed tears. I’m so thankful to be able to see such a performance.” – Ja-young Kim (Ansan City Choji-dong)
After the 1st Act, adorable little santas appeared on stage and received fervent response.
Following this, there was the musical 2nd Act in which self-centered trouble-maker Anna who takes everything for granted that delivered more fun and moved the audience with Gracias’ modern but in-depth acting.
“Being able to come across classic music like this in rough times as now, each moment was very touching. As I watched the 2nd Act, I was moved by how the trouble-maker Anna meets with the heart of her father, and I was reminded of the value of family I had forgotten. I came with my little nephew and I really feel like it was a good idea to have come here.” – Soon-mi Jung (Ansan Gyeong Hyo Hyup Instructor)
Before the beginning of the 3rd Act, Pastor Ock Soo Park, the founder of the Gracias Choir came forward to the stage and delivered a message.
Pastor Ock Soo Park said, “When we feel love and warmth in our hearts, we can easily overcome difficulties and hardships.” He further added, “As the Gracias has delivered warmth through music in the hearts of people in Kenya where there was internal conflict and Haiti where there was an earthquake, I hope this Cantata will allow love and warmth to be shared with one another.”
The last 3rd Act was conducted by Gracias Choir Conductor Eun-sook Park, presenting a special gift of classic masterpieces such as ‘For Unto Us a Child is Born’, ‘Glory to God in the Highest’, and ‘Halleluja’ from Hendel’s <Messiah>.
“I was asked to donate the Christmas Cantata to the needy neighbors or youths and took part. I watched the Cantata with a few of my colleagues and it was so much more impressive than I had expected. I actually thought that I should have donated a lot more if I had known it was such a good performance. I felt like next year, I should donate more so that a lot of my acquaintances and many more people can see this performance. It was a truly special performance.” – Sung-shik Yoon (LS Automotive)
The joyous and moving Cantata the entire family can enjoy together delivered warmth and touched the hearts of the Ansan citizens, and it became an unforgettable gift that engraved the true meaning of Christmas.
The Ansan Cantata closed its curtains on the 20th, and until the 21st of next month, a total of 22 performances will take place nationwide.