Kaunas Cantat – Kaunas Sings
Sunday October 17th, 2021 10:35 AM
Kaunas Cantat to Flood the City with Choral Music from All Europe
The 10th edition of Kaunas Cantat, the international choral festival hosted by Lithuania’s second largest city, promises an intriguing show of choral singing in concert venues and public spaces as part of the European Capital of Culture 2022 programme.
Registration to the festival here:
Kaunas Cantat, which is to become the first international choral event in Lithuania in over two years due the pandemic, offers several innovations, such as open-air performances next to some of the city’s most beautiful fountains. The evening concerts there are to feature choirs from Lithuania and abroad performing music related to the themes of nature, water, and the Earth.
On the other hand, a number of performances are to take place in the beautiful churches inside the city and in the towns around Kaunas, thus marking a symbolic return to the origins of choral music. In addition to the propagation of sacred music, the concerts are also expected to reveal the multiple stylistic and performative opportunities the religious choral music offers.
For the opening show of the festival, the organisers have invited Singer Pur, the professional vocal ensemble from Germany, known for its quality and unorthodox formation, in the European context at least: one soprano, three tenors, a baritone and a bass. Singer Pur, which will give an open-air performance on the Unity Square in Kaunas, is expected to display what it is best known for – the limitless capability of human voice while performing a remarkably broad repertoire ranging from the Middle ages to avant-garde.
“Our team, I am delighted to say, has successfully adjusted the entire format of the festival to make it more attractive to the young and mature listener alike”, said Rolandas Daugėla, the head of the festival. “We will embrace more musical genres and invite more choirs, both professional and amateur, in order to reach our listeners’ hearts”, he added.
The sessions of open singing is a yet another debut initiative of the event. Aimed at all participants of the festival, who are expected to sing together with passers-by at the Unity Square, the open singing is to consist of a one-hour rehearsal followed by a performance, the repertoire being simple choral pieces, popular folk tunes, and canons. For Kaunas, the open singing programme is a novelty, according to Daugėla.
From 2022, the festival will have its anthem, a song written by the prominent Lithuanian composer and choral conductor, Vaclovas Augustinas. Besides its official use, the piece is expected to enter the programme of the open singing sessions. The model of a virtual choir, which has become so popular during the lockdowns, is a yet another international idea that the organisers of the Kaunas Cantat Festival are to exploit, thus providing an opportunity to join to all who are unable to come. “The idea, invented and made popular by the American composer Eric Whitacre, requires certain technical skills in assembling the separate video and audio recordings sent by the singers into a virtual choir”, said Silvija Pročkytė, the coordinator of the festival. “We have decided to employ this format to attract voices from around the world.”
Kaunas Cantat is one of the several choral projects managed by Lithuania Cantat, a Kaunas-based non-profit organisation which has, since 2017, been in charge of several international events in Kaunas, Šiauliai and Birštonas. Aimed at amateur choirs, they offer opportunity to compete for prizes and give concerts. This time, Lithuania Cantat works in line with the Kaunas 2022 partnership programme, which has allowed it to invite more professional performers and offer more concerts.
Kaunas Cantat, expected to become an annual event after 2022, has a potential of reaching wider international audience and attracting top-level choirs. To achieve that, the organisers have for the several past years been working together with the international network of choral events.
“Singing in a choir is a pleasure and education that helps develop a personality. This is our message”, Silvija Proškytė said. “We therefore sincerely believe the Kaunas Cantat Festival will serve a good cause by spreading these ideas.”
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