Choir of the World may perform here

October 13, 1992|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

Baltimore County's relationship with its sister county in South Glamorgan, Wales, could be the crucial link in bringing to the Baltimore area a 6,000- to 10,000-member choir that would perform in spring 1994.

Yesterday, County Executive Roger B. Hayden met with David Lewis, managing director of the Choir of the World, Lord (Gordon) Parry, a member of the British House of Lords, and John Watkin, partner in a Welsh television production company, to discuss sponsoring the event.

Mr. Hayden also has discussed the proposal with Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and with Mark Wasserman, the state secretary for economic development. Both are supportive, he said.

"We think this could be a tremendous event in the Baltimore area," he said.

The choir held its first and only performance in May in a rugby stadium in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The choir, composed of about 160 separate male choirs from Britain and the world, numbered 6,300 members.

The proposed evening concert would be preceded by a daylong festival. Yesterday's discussions included suggestions that the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra also might perform.

Mr. Lewis, who said a stadium-sized venue would be needed for the event, also toured Oriole Park yesterday.

Mr. Lewis called his visit "an investigative opportunity" and stressed that the discussion was preliminary.

He told Mr. Hayden the choir's initial concert was a huge success and that he expects American choirs to participate if a concert is held in Baltimore.

Although the choir is a profit-making company, Mr. Lewis said some funds are donated to charities. Private corporations are encouraged to subsidize part of the choir's $1.4 million production costs. At the first concert, McDonald's restaurants provided meals for the choir.

Mr. Lewis also said 26,000 tickets were sold for the first concert at $30 each. Future concerts would have several different ticket prices, he said.

Later this week, Mr. Lewis and his group will travel to Atlanta to begin arrangements for a performance set for spring 1994.

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