Monday, April 1, 2013

Taipei Concert #1

National Concert Hall, Taipei

View of National Concert Hall from Shiang Kai-Shek Gardens

Tea garden entrance to concert hall

Libera poster in ticketing area yesterday

CD's for sale

Front and back of gift bags with programs

Ni hao! Libera had their first concert in Taiwan tonight! There were fans here from all over the world – China, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, Canada, USA, France and UK (please let me know if I forgot anyone) – but it was the warm response from the Taiwan fans that really made it great, especially when Libera talked and sang in Chinese. But more about that later. Really wish you were here, Lexi.

There were 26 boys singing tonight. They were listed in the program in alphabetical order by first name.

1.   Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti
2.   Anthony Blake
3.   Anthony Kerr-Munley
4.   Benjamin Fairman
5.   Bertramo Smart
6.   Carlos Rodriguez-Villegas
7.   Cassius O’Connell-White
8.   Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey
9.   Dylan Duffy
10. Eoghan McCarthy
11. Henry Barrington
12. Isaac London
13. Jude Collins
14. Jakub (Kuba) Niedermaier-Reed
15. Kavana Crossley
16. Lucas Wood
17. Luke Collins
18. Marc Alvares
19. Matthew Jansen
20. Matthew Madine
21. Matthew Rangel-Alvares
22. Michael Menezes
23. Michael Ustynovych-Repa
24. Oscar McFall
25. Samuel Wiggin
26. Thomas Delgado-Little

Looking at stage


Stage with Steven, Josh, Simon & string quartet ready to go

The concert started off with a string quartet from Taipei entering the stage. They were followed by Simon Roth playing percussion, Josh Madine playing keyboard and piano, and Steven Geraghty playing keyboard, piano, clarinet and recorder. The lights dimmed and we heard Cassius’ voice reminding the audience to turn off their cell phones and refrain from taking pictures. Robert Prizeman entered without applause. I think he wanted to keep a quiet mood for the first song.

1. Dies Irae – Solo by Ciaran. His voice is even stronger than before! Matthew R-A sang the backing part, and Tom sang the high notes. Dark and moving then led into…

2. Gloria – A sparkling song made even better by the lights shining on the gigantic organ behind the stage.

Speech – Ben and Cassius welcoming everyone. Ben just said his name and the audience applauded, so you can imagine the reaction when they spoke in Chinese. :D They said that Kavana is the oldest boy on tour at age 14, and Marc is the youngest, having just turned 9. Isaac, the soloist on the next song, is 10.

3. Song of Life – Wow, wow, wow! Isaac’s solo was so beautiful! What a strong, clear voice in that little 10-year-old!

4. Voca Me – Solo by Ciaran. Tom sang the shimmering high part (that top note gives me shivers) so effortlessly.

5. Sanctus – Dylan sang a really cool part, Tom sang the high notes, and Matthew J sang the last Sanctus. Beautifully done.

Speech – Cassius and Michael U-R introduced their well-travelled mascot, Moose.

6. I Vow To Thee, My Country – Another wow! Matthew J has the nicest quality to his voice, and it’s so strong and steady. He sang the solo with Dylan and Tom. Michael had a cool part in this song.

7.  Salva Me – The boys had their hoods up, and Michael U-R sang the high Salvas.

8. Eternal Light – The solo part was sung by Ciaran, Jude, and Lucas with Tom joining in part-way through.

Speech – This was so funny! Jude introduced the musicians. He went to point to the string quartet and spun in a circle pointing at Steven, Josh, Simon, oh there they are! lol The loudest applause were for Robert. J

9. How Shall I Sing That Majesty? – Beautiful solo by Eoghan with Matthew J and Lucas. Yes, this song still makes me cry. I love the words.

- Interval - 

10. Orinoco Flow – The song started with Matthew R-A, Matthew J, Dylan, Cassius and another boy I can’t remember (sorry). Isaac was playing the beat of the drum by hitting his side. Does he play percussion? Tom has a cool, high part added. And the choreography and turns were even sharper than before. I love this song!

Speech – Michael and Cassius explained their white robes and “massive” hoods. The audience loved Cassius’ hood demonstration.

11. Far Away – Solo by Isaac. I’m trying not to use the word “wow” too much. Maybe I’m too sleepy to come up with another adjective. Just perfect.

12. The Fountain – Just when I vow to not use the word “wow” again, here comes this song. Matthew J soloed. His voice is rich and low in the beginning, soars to crazy high notes in the middle, then closes quietly in a way that makes you sigh. It really was a wow! Perfect song for Easter time, too.

13. Grateful Heart – Tom and Michael U-R are in the front with half of the boys kneeling in a semi-circle behind them and the other half of the boys standing in a semi-circle behind that. This is such a difficult song to sing, because it requires so much vocal control. These little guys can do it! Tom sang the first verse, Michael sang the second verse, Tom sang the third verse, and holy cow!, he held out that last clear note so long. Stunning.

14. Ave Verum – Dylan, Matthew J, Henry and Ciaran started the song. Michael U-R sang the high notes. Shout out to Carlos, Henry, Kavana and Luke singing the low notes. It always shows on this song. And the tallest was Luke at the front of the final “V” formation.

Speech – This was the cutest speech! Ciaran explained that they need to learn to enunciate their words distinctly while singing. In order to do this, they practice vocal exercises. So they demonstated 3 of them. It was like an extra mini-song in the concert. The first exercise was a tongue-twister I can’t remember (I have 6 more concerts to get it, hehe). The second one was “Zing-a-momma, zing-a-momma, zing, zing, zing.” The third was a scale of “ma-ma-ma’s” that went super high. The audience loved it! And this, of course, led into…

15. How Can I Keep From Singing? – Beautifully sung. Michael U-R on the high notes.

16. Stay With Me – Main part sung by Tom, Dylan, Cassius and Lucas. Michael U-R on the high notes. Cassius sang a solo at the end.

17. Glory To Thee – Solo part by Eoghan and Matthew J. The boys are in 5 groups and sing “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” in a round.

Speech – Ben gave the longest speech in Chinese thanking everyone for coming.

18. Exultate – Tom, Dylan, Matthew J, Michael U-R and Lucas start the song. Solo by Tom with Luke. A happy way to end the concert. But wait. There’s more!

Encore #1 – The Moon Represents My Heart – Stunning! As soon as the audience recognized the song, they started clapping. I can’t understand a word of Chinese, and I was moved by it, especially at the bridge. Robert’s arrangement of this song is amazing. All the boys were standing in a semi-circle, and little Michael U-R glided smoothly to the front and sang a solo at the end. The audience cheered so much. I saw people waving their hands in the air! The recorded song and video cannot be played in its entirety due to copywrite. Hopefully this will be resolved so that everyone can have a chance to hear the full song.

Encore #2 – Libera

More cheers from the audience and Robert was presented on stage with a huge bouquet of flowers.

A few other notes. Our newest smiley boy is Anthony Blake. He sings and smiles and looks right at audience members and smiles some more. What a joy to watch him! And congratulations to Josh for transitioning so smoothly (at least it seems so to me as an outsider) to being a staff member. His keyboard and piano playing is quite good, and some pieces are not easy. (I think perhaps I can tell after hearing Lexi play the piano for 11 years.) Great job! Barbara Geraghty and Eleanor Lewis are here as chaperones. Andy Winter is Stage Manager. Sam Coates is on Sound. Simon Lewis and Jonathan Barrington are Stage Managers. If I missed someone, it’s because the staff is not listed in the program and my pictures of you leaving are blurry. lol

After the concert, the venue handed out Libera balloons. They sold CD’s, the DVD, commemorative Libera mugs, programs and posters. People wanting autographs were led to a queue outside. I thought it was going to be another outdoor signing in the dark like St. Louis 2010, but it turned out that only the fans were outside. The boys were inside a side entrance.

Line snaking down the steps and around corner to side of concert hall

Line for autographs

Fans were able to get autographs from 10 boys instead of 5. It was a bit rushed. No time to talk. I think the venue thought that 1,000 people would be lined up for signatures. The line was long, but not too bad. I got a few photos before, during and after. The boys were so cute, saying “Xie xie” (thank you in Chinese) to the fans.

Matthew Madine

Tom Delgado-Little

Dylan Duffy

Kavana Crossley and Bertie Smart

Eoghan McCarthy, Michael Menezes & Matthew Jansen

Isaac London & Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti

A small group of fans waited outside to see the boys leave. They were waving from the windows of their bus.

Josh & Jonathan

Andy Winter

Thank you for a great concert! Have fun in Taipei and see you tomorrow!



  2. Thank you, thank you Lexi's mom Lauren!! You're doing an amazing job reporting the concert beautifully! As much as we want to be at all the concert across the other side of the's great you can share your experience with us and make us feel like we're right there in the seat next to you. I look forward to hearing about every concert. Please send out love to the boys and staff of Libera!
    Glenna from Toronto, Canada.

  3. Hello, Lauren! I'm happy to see that you are enjoying your Libera experience in Taiwan so far! I wish to thank you for your beautifully detailed review. It is heartwarming to see the younger boys growing up as soloists and taking on extra responsibility during concerts. It is also wonderful to see the older ones continue their loyal participation, whether as older singers, musicians or support staff. I'm hoping that one day Canadian fans will once again be able to see Libera and give their support to the boys who have joined since 2011, as well as those who are still with the group. (I would, of course, be willing to support a return engagement in Kitchener - naturally!). Enjoy the rest of the tour. I hope to see you again in the future.


  5. How great!!! Thank you for the reports!!!

  6. Really appreciate you staying up late to file this report Lauren. Thankyou. Libera should grant you official roving reporter status! :)

  7. Hi,I'm Vivian T.
    Thanks for your posting.I went to two concerts in Taipei.Though it wasn't allowed to take pictures or shake hands with them,I still be glad to see them with my own eyes and listen to their voices with my own ears.Hope they will come to Taiwn in 2014,2015,2016.....
    Morover,I want to thanks again for your posting and notes foe the details of the concerts.I don't know how to express my gratitude of it.It's your blog that let me know more about Libera.The process may be somewhat difficult and hard,but I know it really pay off with joy and accomplishment.
    Keep going Libera!Keep going Lauran!I really appreciate that!

  8. Hi, Glenna! Thank you for reading the blog. I'm glad you're enjoying my postings. :)

  9. Hi, villasboas! We cannot record or take pictures during the concerts. The concert hall staff are very careful to watch that no one does this.

  10. Hi, Leslie! Thank you so much! :)

  11. Hi, Anonymous! Ahaha! Thank you so much! :D

  12. Hi, Vivian! Thank you for reading the blog! You are a great fan! :D