DATE: AUGUST 1, 2023
FROM: MARCEE RONDAN/MITCH SCHNEIDER/ANDREA FAULK
In advance of the U.S. launch of GREGORIAN’s “PURE CHANTS” debut U.S. tour, founder and owner of Nemo-Studios and omeN-Publishing Frank Peterson discussed the tour and the history of “The World’s Most Successful Choir.” Nemo Studio’s recently announced that GREGORIAN is bringing its first-ever North American tour to theaters and performing arts centers in the fall of 2023 and spring of 2024, featuring special guest performers Amelia Brightman and sensational male sopranist Narcis. The first leg of U.S. dates kick off October 11 in Atlanta, GA and wrap November 13 in Annapolis, MD. Read the full press release here. News of a fall album release will be announced in the coming weeks.
For over 20 years, more than three million people in 31 countries have been enchanted by GREGORIAN’s live performances. These eight classically trained English vocalists are known to bring their audiences to their feet…multiple times…at every show.
The itinerary is filled with theaters and performing arts centers in the fall of 2023 and spring of 2024, with 30-45 concerts currently being planned in the U.S., Mexico and Latin America.
WITH FRANK PETERSON
Q: Can you explain what Gregorian is and what audiences can expect?
Frank Peterson: Gregorian are basically eight classically trained singers from London, UK plus a band. Usually in traditional Gregorian chant you’ll hear male baritones and tenors singing in unison. While we stick to the original medieval sound, we like to spice things up a little and bring the chants into today’s world.
Q: These dates will feature special guest performers from Amelia Brightman and sensational male sopranist Narcis. What are their roles in the shows?
Peterson: Narcis is a rare beast, a male soprano…actually, I don’t know one other singer with his incredible skill and stratospheric high voice. He certainly adds another dimension to our sound and repertoire. I love Amelia’s voice and her contemporary, yet classy style. She adds beauty and sensuality to our shows and some “icing on the cake” to the ensemble.
Q: GREGORIAN is the world’s most successful choir. What logistics are needed to stage this show every night?
Peterson: We’ve been touring for almost 25 years now and every tour requires different logistics. Although our current program is called “Pure Chants”, we carry a lot of lights and special effects with us to give people a highly entertaining event. Thus we prefer to call our concerts “shows.” While Gregorian could be considered to be classical crossover, our shows are mysterious but very entertaining, the performers serious but witty and the music classical but with a contemporary backing. As the U.S. is such a vast country, this is our first tour, ever, where the singers will sleep in a nightliner coach. It’ll be a challenge we all look forward to. All we really need for our 10 singers is a space for them to warm up properly…oh…and a fog machine!!!
Q: “Gregorian: Pure Chants in Concert” has recently been airing on public television stations across the country. Is that a good representation of the upcoming U.S. tour?
Peterson: Yes, it is a good representation of what we have done over the past 10 years. Gregorian started as a vocal ensemble, playing mainly churches and small theaters across Europe. With the success the demand grew, the productions became bigger and so did the confidence of the ensemble, each of them developing real entertainment skills. Today, Gregorian is an arena act all over Europe and Asia, with big elaborate shows, lights, pyros, lasers and fully choregraphed entertainment, while the music is a sophisticated blend of rock-anthems and classical vocals. The PBS program shows only a small segment of our repertoire. The upcoming U.S. tour will be a bit more intimate, spiritual and tranquil…just like we started in Europe 23 years ago.
Q: Might audiences hear some familiar songs in the sets?
Peterson: Absolutely…our repertoire is merely based on globally known and beloved compositions. I would think that most people in the U.S. are familiar with at least two thirds of the songs we are going to perform. I myself love going to concerts where I hear the hits…and then a couple of unexpected and surprising pieces.
Q: Beyond the live shows, what’s coming next for GREGORIAN?
Peterson: The Pure Chants Tour will continue in Europe, Asia and Australia. In April or May we hope to do a second leg in the U.S. before we head to South America. If things go as planned by June of next year, we will have played 200 Pure Chants shows around the world. Then we’ll have an 18-month break, record a new album and in early 2025 start our 25th anniversary show, where we’ll go out again with all the bells and whistles, playing big arenas and hopefully return to the U.S. with our big production show.
About Frank Peterson
Frank Peterson is the founder and owner of Nemo-Studios and omeN-Publishing and the international award-winning recording and touring act Gregorian. Frank’s musical taste is very diverse and ranges from core classical to rock and throughout his career, Frank has worked as producer and/or composer for artists including Enigma, Alannah Myles, Justin Timberlake, Sarah Brightman, José Carreras, Tom Jones, Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Errol Brown, Ofra Haza, Paul Stanley (Kiss), Backstreet Boys, Sandra, Josh Groban, Alessandro Safina, Mario Frangoulis, Marky Mark, I Muvrini, Florent Pagny, Ricardo Cocciante, Helmut Lotti and Princessa. Frank has received more than 180 gold and platinum awards from 42 countries on all 5 continents with record sales exceeding 60.000.000 units. He has also composed and/or produced music for international blockbuster movies and global advertising campaigns and produced/directed global concert tours as well as TV-programs for Sarah Brightman and Gregorian.