‘Coventry Carol/What Child is This’
Get ready for a musical journey like no other as tenor extraordinaire Allan Palacios Chan unveils a transcendent holiday experience with his forthcoming Christmas single, ‘Coventry Carol/What Child is This.’ Enthralling listeners since November 21st, this single release blends centuries of musical legacy with contemporary charm. It marks the pinnacle of Chan’s transformative crossover journey, weaving together a rich tapestry of chant, baroque, pop, and operatic influences.
Distinguished as a “clarion high tenor” by Opera News and celebrated for his magnetic performances that effortlessly bridge diverse genres, Philippine-born American tenor Chan’s artistry transcends boundaries. He has earned a reputation for performing a wide range of repertoire with style and a deep connection to his audience. His new Christmas single embodies a synthesis of history and modernity, intertwining the poignant narrative of ‘Coventry Carol,’ echoing the ancient horrors of King Herod’s era, with the tender embrace of ‘What Child is This,’ harmonising the timeless Greensleeves melody.
Speaking of the inspiration behind the single, Chan says:
“We chose this music because of the contrast it provides… ‘Coventry Carol’ is practically secular, speaking on the horrors of the time of Judea when King Herod ordered the massacre of the innocents…it is a lullaby sung to the murdered children. Then comes the gentleness of ‘What Child is This’, over the age-old Greensleeves ditty to create a sort of medley. I love the contrast this music provides and did not expect the subject matter to become so horrifyingly relevant as the world seemed to be set on fire during the recording process.”
The origin of this musical marvel traces back to an unexpected yet serendipitous encounter during Chan’s 2022 philanthropic tour in the Philippines to help raise money for indigenous students at the Notre Dame school in Mindanao. Renen de Guia of Ovation Productions recognised Chan’s prodigious talent, subsequently propelling him into the orbit of industry luminaries such as LA-based agent Gina Orr [NSYNC] and acclaimed arranger and pianist Leonardo de Bernardini (‘Leo Z’), who previously worked with the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and David Archuleta.
Collaborating with a distinguished team of artisans at the Village Studios in LA, Allan Palacios Chan, alongside Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer Eric Boulanger and a chamber orchestra boasting graduates from esteemed institutions such as Juilliard and Curtis, crafts a lush sonic landscape merging antique instruments with modern finesse. The intentional fusion of old and new instruments, including voice, violin, viola, cello, bass, Flauto Dolce (or Blockflöte/Flûte à bec), harp, piano, and lute, enriches the musical tapestry and crafts a melody that soothes the ears.
Chan reflects, “With this music and video, I aimed to create something truly beautiful, mysterious and enchanting—what I feel when I think of Christmas.”
The accompanying music video for ‘Coventry Carol/ What Child Is This’— directed by Landon Donoho—was shot against the breathtaking backdrop of The Mosaic Mansion in the Hollywood Hills. It serves as a visual symphony, encapsulating the essence of the song’s historical significance intertwined with a modern narrative.
This release serves as a prelude to an upcoming crossover album, showcasing Chan’s dexterity in reimagining classic hits such as Billy Joel’s ‘And So It Goes’ and ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries, and heralding his foray into a pioneering musical fusion.
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Hailed as a “clarion high tenor” by Opera News and a “standout” performer by Seen and Heard International, “bringing musicality plus an attractive and flexible leggiero sound to his assignment”, Allan Palacios Chan epitomises musical versatility and artistry. With a Bachelor’s in Music and a minor in theatre from George Mason University and a Master’s in Vocal Performance from the University of Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music, Chan’s journey has been a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence.
He has been a Corbett Foundation Young Artist with Cincinnati Opera for four consecutive seasons and was a voice fellow at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California for two consecutive seasons where he sang in the West Coast premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s opera Second Nature. He recently sang the role of Sing Lee in the world premiere of Tacoma Method, his debut with Tacoma Opera. Chan’s magnetic performances, spanning diverse genres from opera to pop, have graced esteemed venues like the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.
Beyond his vocal prowess, Chan’s philanthropic endeavours and collaborations echo his dedication to weaving a tapestry of music that transcends boundaries. His musical interests span beyond opera, performing Kundiman (classical Filipino art song) and various anthems for official events of the Philippine Embassy of Washington D.C., at venues such as The Ronald Reagan Building and the State Department.
His recent single, ‘Coventry Carol/What Child is This,’ stands as a testament to Chan’s visionary approach, melding centuries-old melodies with contemporary allure. As he prepares to unveil this musical spectacle, Chan invites audiences to embark on a transformative sonic journey that seamlessly blends tradition with innovation.