Founded in 1951 by the late Richard S. Eaton, Edmonton’s symphonic choir, Richard Eaton Singers (RES), has played a leading role in the cultural community of the city for nearly seven decades. RES is dedicated to the enjoyment, study and performance of great choral music, to an international standard of excellence, and to fostering the appreciation and future of this music..
RES performances have included Edmonton premieres of many choral masterpieces such as the Bach St. John and St. Matthew Passions, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, Britten’s War Requiem, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast and Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony.
RES has commissioned and produced many premiere performances by Canadian composers, including most recently Allan Bevan’s Last Light Above the World, in celebration of the centenary of the end of WWI (2018), as well as works by John Estacio, Christos Hatzis, Ruth Watson Henderson, Stephanie Martin, Imant Raminsh and Mark Sirett. They have also participated in several ESO premieres, including Malcolm Forsyth’s A Ballad of Canada and Robert Rival’s Delights and Discords.
The choir has traveled extensively across Canada, to the Netherlands, Britain, and Germany, and has exchanged with other choirs, including the Calgary Philharmonic Choir and Vancouver Bach Choir. RES also regularly performs with other Edmonton area choirs, most recently with Kappella Kyrie in a concert of sacred music of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Our 2019-20 choral season will again feature a collaboration with Kappella Kyrie in performance of Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil (Vespers) on June 6.
As partners with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra RES has created many memorable choral events in our city, including the performance of Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand to celebrate the opening of the Francis Winspear Centre for Music, and many Christmas performances of Handel’s Messiah and A Lightly Classical Christmas. This year, in addition to the current performance of Brahms Requiem, the Eaton Singers will also present an all-Beethoven concert with the ESO as our guests on April 16, in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 1770.
In recent years RES has also joined forces with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble to perform a number of masterpieces from the Baroque and Classical periods, including oratorios of Handel, sacred works of Mozart and Haydn, and Bach’s Passions and his Mass in B minor.