The Mekor Haim Choir, under the artistic direction of Maestro Leonardo Mendonça, is pleased to announce its next concert. It will be held at the Holocaust Museum of Porto, 790 Rua do Campo Alegre, on Thursday, 25 May 2023 at 3:30 PM, before the start of the Shavuot holiday that evening. The program will consist of folk songs in Ladino as well as pieces by the Italian Jewish Baroque composer, Salomone Rossi.
Ladino or Judeo-Espanhol was the language common to Jews in the Balkans, North Africa and the New World in the centuries following the expulsion from Spain and Portugal in 1492 and 1497. A rich body of songs, based on old Iberian melodies, reminded the refugees of their roots. The choir will sing three songs in Ladino. ‘Avraham Avinu’, also known as ‘Quando el Rey Nimrod’, tells the story of the birth of Abraham. It was composed in Turkey but uses a classic Andalusian form. The second song ‘Tzur Mishelo Achalnu’, often sung before the grace after meals, was set to the tune of an older folk song called ‘La Rosa Enfloresce.’ The choir sings the first verse in Hebrew and the last three verses in Ladino. The third song presents the first two verses of ‘Mama Yo No Tengo Visto’ in Ladino, followed by three verses of the song ‘Hitragut’ in modern Hebrew.
The music of the Italian Baroque also found expression in Jewish music through the compositions of Salomone Rossi in the 17th century. The choir will present three pieces by Rossi. The ‘Barechu’ is an invocation said at the beginning of prayers. ‘Shir Hama’alot’ is an arrangement of Psalm 128 and ‘Hallelujah Halleli Nafshi’ is a setting of Psalm 146.
All are welcome to attend the concert. For those interested in joining the choir, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.