The vocal group Cantabile, also known as the London Quartet, will perform at the Craterian Theater. - Photo courtesy of Craterian Productions

Cantabile: Monteverdi meets Monty Python

Cantabile, pronounced Can-TAH-bih-lay, is an Italian musical term meaning "in singing style." It is also the alternative name for the vocal ensemble the London Quartet.

Craterian Performances will present an evening of humor and harmony with the a cappella group at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford.

Various members of the group had been singing and performing together in various quartets since their days in Cambridge back in 1977, when they formed a barbershop quartet for a musical comedy.

In 1982, they decided to pursue a full-time musical career as Cantabile/the London Quartet.

"Cantab" is the abbreviation which, placed after such academic letters as B.A. or M.A. indicates that the degree in question was obtained in Cantabrigiensis, the Latin for Cambridge, a hint to the group's origin.

Current members include: Richard Bryan, counter tenor; Steven Brooks, tenor; Mark Fleming, tenor; and Michael Steffan, baritone. Cantabile performs a broad range of programs and styles, from classics of the last millennium to contemporary comedy.

The group has given more than 2,000 live performances and more than 200 television appearances worldwide.

Cantabile has appeared in musicals in London's West End, galas aboard Queen Elizabeth 2, concerts in New York's Carnegie Hall, opera in the Covent Garden Festival, jazz with the BBC Big Band, classical parodies in front of 40,000 people at the BBC Proms in the Park, as well as customized cabarets for corporate clients.

Cantabile has released 13 solo albums. The group performing at the Craterian is the 21st incarnation of Cantabile, which has involved 24 different singers over the years.

Tickets are $13-$25. See craterian.org or call 779-3000.

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