Sun of Justice

Early Music from Across the Mediterranean

The world-renowned vocal ensemble Cappella Romana returns to Sacramento on Tuesday, December 19, with “A Byzantine Christmas,” a program featuring Byzantine Chants in Greek, Arabic, and English. The concert will be held in the superb acoustics of the city’s Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, 1017 11th Street.

Cappella Romana is a professional vocal chamber ensemble dedicated to combining passion with scholarship in its exploration of the musical traditions of the Christian East and West, with emphasis on early and contemporary music. Founded in 1991, Cappella Romana’s name refers to the medieval Greek concept of the Roman oikoumene (inhabited world), which embraced Rome and Western Europe, as well as the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople (“New Rome”) and its Slavic commonwealth.

“A Byzantine Christmas” is directed by John Michael Boyer, Protopsaltis of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco and Cappella Romana’s Associate Music Director. He is joined by Lebanon-born soloist Deacon John (Rassem) El Massih and a choir of men and women Byzantine cantors from across North America.

“We are thrilled to be performing again in Sacramento,” says Mark Powell, executive director of Cappella Romana. “And thanks to an anonymous donor, all ticket proceeds will go to families in need. We hope patrons will be generous especially at this time of year.”

Cappella Romana first appeared in Sacramento in 2009 with a program of Medieval Byzantine Chant, and recently returned from a tour to Romania where it was a featured ensemble in the Iasi Byzantine Music Festival. Its next European tour includes stops in London and Budapest.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25 with discounts for students and groups. They are available at, by phone 503-236-8202, or at the door. All proceeds will go to families in need, distributed by Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.