A stripped back, bare essentials entertainment act, while being a risky endeavor, is hard to come by today.
Yet, Sri Lanka’s number one, male choral group The Revelations have had the audacity to bring their talent alone to the stage. The cumulative force of their voices can challenge an orchestra that is at full strength.
To command an audience with voices alone is not an easy feat but The Revelations, with the prowess and energy of the music that they create, are known to bring audiences to their feet.
The Revelations are unanimously considered the best choral outfit in Sri Lanka, and they are currently gearing up for their latest hot ticket performance, Hearts in Concert, to be held at the Bishop’s College Auditorium on the 9th and 10th of February 2013.
The Concert will also feature the Methodist College Choir, OKTAVE, the Revelations Academy, Neranjan de Silva, Dharshi Edward, and Christopher Prins.
The ten members of The Revelations are a group of friends who schooled at St. Thomas’ College Mount Lavania, and formed an ensemble to test their collective talents at a concert titled Kaleidoscope at the Lionel Wendt Theatre in 1994.
The powerful and intricate sound that their voices achieved was a refreshing hit that has since taken Sri Lanka and the wider world by storm. Since their introductory performance, The Revelations have headlined sold-out shows at the Russian Cultural Center, the Church of St. Michael and All Angels Polwatte, the Lionel Wendt Theatre, the Holy Family Convent Auditorium, and the 1,400-capacity Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.
The Revelations have their roots in gospel and spiritual music and it is this music that inspired the name The Revelations, after the last book of the Bible. The Revelations are directed and conducted by Sanjeev Jayaratnam who is a co-founder of the Group and has been its Choral Director since 2000.
Classical, Barbershop, Sacred, Gospel, Pop, Doo-wop and excerpts from musical theatre make up The Revelations repertoire. The group sold out the first CD that they produced named Kaleidoscope, and has since launched two more CDs Feel The Spirit, a Gospel selection, and Still Crazy, a collection of pop songs.
The popularity of The Revelations could not be contained to Sri Lanka for long. Their talent helped open doors to performances and competitions at an international level. The Revelation’s most prestigious accolade came in 2008 at the World Choir Games held in Graz, Austria, that saw the act win the title of ‘Champion of the World Choir Games’ in two categories: ‘Gospel & Spiritual’ and ‘Male Voice Ensemble’, as well as two gold medals and a silver medal in the ‘Popular Choral Music Ensemble’ category.
When they returned to Sri Lanka, the Cinnamon Grand Hotel hosted a concert of their repertoire aptly titled ‘We are the Champions’ in celebration of the group’s achievements in the local and international music scenes. On the back of world acclaimed performances, The Revelations guest performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Tomohon International Choral Competition & Symposium held in Indonesia in August 2010.
They also visited Malaysia in March 2012 to perform four concerts at the invitation of the popular Malaysian quartette Caipifruta in the capital city, Kuala Lampur, and on the resort island of Penang. The Revelation’s unique qualities and wide range of hits, spanning soothing melodies to dance numbers, have made them a popular choice for major corporate events as well as weddings and anniversaries.
Hearts in Concert in support of the Children’s Heart Project (CHP) of Sri Lanka will be The Revelation’s first concert in the new year. CHP is a registered, non-profit organization, approved by the Sri Lankan Government, that is working to help save Sri Lankan children born with potentially fatal congenital heart disease. Congenital heart disease occurs naturally in over 2500 babies born annually in Sri Lanka.
The Revelations approached CHP to support the Charity’s latest project to build a human tissue bank that will act as a catalyst to improving operations conducted on children suffering from the disease. Once the hurdle of a successful operation is crossed, the majority of patients have a very high chance of living a normal life.
CHP Chairman Dr. Duminda Samarasinghe together with Dr. Vijith Kannangara, Dr. P. N. Thenabadu, Mr. J. S. Mather, Mr. N. R. B. Ranasuriya, Dr. Harsha Alles, Dr. (Mrs) Pramilla Senanayake, and Dr. Kanchana Singappuli sit on CHP’s Board of Directors. The Charity primarily supports the cardiac program at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital as it is the largest tertiary care referral centre that provides free of charge treatment for resource-poor families in Sri Lanka.
Tickets for Hearts in Concert are available at the Bishop’s College Auditorium, The Bayleaf and Hyde Park Residencies.