The Sistine Chapel Choir from Rome, commonly recognized as “the Pope’s Choir,” will make its first-ever performance in Detroit on Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Detroit Opera House. Their performance in Detroit will culminate the Choir’s historic return to the U.S. for the first time in over 30 years, which also includes performances at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The Choir will perform to a sold-out audience.
“It’s a great honor to host the Sistine Chapel Choir, the Pope’s choir,” said Archbishop of Detroit Allen H. Vigneron. “This visit is a privileged occasion for the cooperation between the Church, the civic community, and the business community to share something beautiful for everyone in the region.”
The archbishop said the choir’s focus on the renaissance mirrors Detroit’s own journey.
“The maestro made a point on the renaissance, and we pride ourselves on having picked ourselves up from the ashes, resurget cineribus,” he said, quoting the city’s motto penned by Fr. Gabriel Richard. “The concert is one more sign that this spirit moves itself into the future.”
“The Sistine Chapel Choir is pleased to visit Detroit, a city that today represents a cultural touchstone for the world and the culture of the Renaissance,” stated Maestro Msgr. Massimo Palombella, who leads the Sistine Chapel Choir. “We look forward to experiencing Detroit while bringing the very best of Renaissance music that will make up the production of a beautiful concert at the Detroit Opera House.”
While in Detroit, the Choir will also provide a private community concert at Ste. Anne de Detroit Parish. Guests of this performance at the oldest parish in the archdiocese and second-oldest parish in the United States, were invited by churches, schools and non-profit organizations who serve the metro Detroit area.
While the concert is fully-committed, the public will have the opportunity to see and hear the live performance on the large outdoor digital boards at Cobo Center or via LIVESTREAM at aod.org provided by the Archdiocese of Detroit beginning at 7 p.m. This special viewing at Cobo Center is sponsored by The Moroun Family, The Suburban Collection and Ford Motor Company. The Catholic Television Network of Detroit (CTND) will rebroadcast the concert in October.
“Ford Motor Company is delighted to be among the companies sponsoring this very special event, and in particular, to help make it possible for so many in our community to enjoy,” said Brad Simmons, Director, Community Outreach, Ford Motor Company. “Attracting such a world-class group to Detroit for the first time in its 1500-year history is further testimony to the progress that we continue to make together.”
The Sistine Chapel Choir’s historic visit to the U.S. is produced by Northville, Michigan based Corporate Travel, a full-service travel, event and cruise tour company with dedicated resources in cultural, educational, performance and religious tours and cruises.
“We are very appreciative of the generous support of the partners and sponsors who have made this historic Sistine Chapel Choir U.S. tour possible,” said John Hale, owner, Corporate Travel. “We are thrilled and honored to help bring the beautiful sounds of the world-class Sistine Chapel Choir to Detroit for the community and region to enjoy.”
As early as the 5th and 6th centuries, there are records of singers being part of the papal entourage. Today, 1,500 years later, the role of the Sistine Chapel Choir, officially known as the Cappella Musicale Pontificia Sistina, remains the same, comprised of a highly-accomplished group of 22 men and 29 boys.