How does a world-renowned Cuban a cappella choir find its way to Cape Cod in November? Through a world made smaller through cultural exchange, and a fortuitous connection.
“My organization is Educational Travel Alliance, licensed by the U.S. government to arrange cultural exchange programs between the USA and Cuba,” said Michael Eizenberg. ”In July there was a choral festival in Cuba called Corhabana Choral Festival, with choruses from all over Cuba, Venezuela and a number of other places. We arranged for a chorus from New Hampshire, Voices from the Heart, to go to Cuba and participate.”
Eisenberg then invited a select group from the Cuban National Chorus, called Coro de Entrevoces, to come to the Unites States. They've toured South America, Canada and Europe, where they recently won the 12th International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany. Their repertoire includes works from the Spanish, English and Italian Renaissance as well as contemporary music, Negro spirituals and Cuban music.
When Eisenberg told his sister that Coro de Entrevoces would be hosted by the chorus in New Hampshire, she expressed an interest in having them come to the Cape. As luck would have it, Eisenberg's sister is Harwich Junior Theatre's Producing Artistic Director, Nina Schuessler.
“I was in Havana last May,” Schuessler said. “On our final day, Coro de Entrevoces gave a concert for our group. I had goose bumps the whole time. I couldn't get over it. They're so full of personality and joy. Their singing is beyond anything I've ever heard.”
Once it was confirmed that the chorus would come to Cape Cod, Schuessler extended the opportunity at the Cape Cod Theater Coalition, a collaborative organization of all the theaters on the Cape. “Jeffry George [executive director of Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater] was thrilled,” she said. “He said they'd love to host them as well.”