Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Hanoi Goethe Institute will hold a series activities for the Christmas season at Cửa Bắc Church. They will begin on December 14.
The activities include a Chrismast Concert and German Christmas Market to mark the 20th anniversary of the Goethe Institute in Việt Nam.
The concert will feature two pieces, Coronation Mass by Mozart and Orchestra Suite No3 by Bach, including his famous Air on the G String.
It will be performed by the Việt Nam National Symphony Orchestra with a choir from Việt Nam National Opera and Ballet, Ha Noi Catholic Youth Choir and four soloists from Việt Nam and Germany.
Soprano Hà Phạm Thanh Long and baritone Vũ Mạnh Dũng are talented soloists with the opera, while German mezzo soprano Claire Gascoin and tenor Florian Sievers will debut in Việt Nam.
"Some famous works of Mozart and Bach are composed for worship, but they have become part of human heritage," said Reverend Alphonsus Phạm Hùng, chaplain of International Catholics in Hà Nội.
"This is the first time a Christmas Concert has been in a Catholic Church in Hà Nội. It is our joy that the Coronation Mass and the Orchestra Suite No3 with carols will echo as Christmas is around the corner".
The Chirstmas Concert will begin at 8pm on December 21. Entry is by donation of VNĐ100,000 (about US$5).
German Christmas market in Nuernberg, one of the most renowned Christmas markets in the world, will be held in the grounds of Cửa Bắc Church, 56 Phan Đình Phùng Street.
About 13 booths will introduce craft products, including Christmas decorations and traditional German food. Highlight of the market will be an eight-metre high tree decorated with lights.
Institute director Wilfried Eckstein said the 100-year-old Cửa Bắc Church with its clock tower and picturesque window was considered a perfect backdrop for the market.
The market will open on December 14 and 15 from 2pm to 9pm and on December 16 from 10am to 9pm.
Originally named as Church of Martyrs, the church was designed by French architect Ernest Hebrard and built in 1932. Cửa Bắc Church is one of the three major churches in Hà Nội together with Hàm Long Church and Saint Joseph Cathedral.
The church became the venue of joint worship service of Vietnamese Catholics and Protestants with US President George W. Bush in November, 2006. — VNS