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Cantus’ season — in town and out — to begin in Willmar

‘Tis the season of season announcements, some advertised, and some simply announced in hopes that somebody will notice. Not to be overlooked is Cantus, the nine-man choral ensemble that sings some pretty demanding stuff without a conductor. To hear some samples, go here.

The group’s 2009-2010 season includes 50 — count ‘em, 50 — out-of-town tour dates, including bookings in Alaska. For a look at the touring repertoire, go here. If the program strikes your fancy you can hear it locally with the group’s season-opening concerts on Oct. 23 and 25 in Minneapolis and Wayzata and on Feb. 5 in Stillwater. And for a schedule of the tours that take place from September to June, go here.

Here at home, highlights of the group’s six-concert local series include a collaboration next May with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. They’ll be performing Kurt Weill’s rarely done “Seven Deadly Sins,” a 35-minute ideological piece that was originally called “The Seven Deadly Sins of the Petty Bourgeoisie.” Nonradicals need not fear; the concert also includes songs by Schubert and other great German composers.

Cantus will also collaborate with Theatre Latte Da for a reprise of “Al Is Calm,” a radio drama about the 1914 Christmas trench-war truce during World War I that was praised when it was presented a year ago at the Pantages Theater in downtown Minneapolis.

And in June, Cantus will return to the Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis with another pop-tune extravaganza, billed as “Covers III.” As before, the singers will be performing with a small band.

Sunday, Sept. 13, 2 p.m.; Willmar Education & Arts Center, 611 5th St. SW, Willmar, Minn.

Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, 7:30 p.m., St. Olaf Catholic Church, 215 S. 8th St., Minneapolis. For the complete season, performance dates, venues and tickets, go here.

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