Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra will represent Lithuania at Expo 2015

Vilnius City Municipality ‘s St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra and Bel Canto Choir Vilnius will represent Lithuania at Expo 2015, which begins in May and will last for six months in Milan, Italy. Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra will perform at the key event of Lithuania’s National Day at Expo 2015 on July 15. The performance will take place at Expo 2015 major concert hall, which accommodates more than 1,000 spectators.

The core theme of this year’s Expo – Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life – is about food resources and environmental protection, therefore Lithuania’s food industry representatives, manufacturers, scientists and national-heritage promoters will participate at the exhibition. The preparation and performance of the Lithuanian National Day program at the Expo 2015 is organized by the Lithuanian Folk Culture Center.

The musical program of Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and the St. Christopher Orchestra will present Lithuania as a country with a deep and distinctive music tradition that is open to innovation and contemporary musical trends, and willing and able to experiment, create and surprise.

The St. Christopher Orchestra will perform works of famous Lithuanian composers, such as Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, Jonas Tamulionis and Osvaldas Balakauskas. Donatas Katkus, the artistic director and chief conductor of the orchestra, says that the program represents the creative trends of the St. Christopher Orchestra.

“The orchestra and the Lithuanian music that it has played since its very first performance are considered the best exponents of classicism. Čiurlionis has been in the orchestral repertoire for more than twenty years. The orchestra was the first to play abundant musical works of Balakauskas for strings, and his creative work Odisee symbolizes not only Odysseus, but also the orchestra, which was named after St. Christopher – both the patron saint of Vilnius and the saint of travellers. Toccata by Jonas Tamulionis is the most effective musical piece in the orchestra’s concerts and is always performed with extraordinary success,” says Katkus.

Artūras Dambrauskas, the artistic director and chief conductor of Bel Canto Choir Vilnius, says that in its performance the Choir will combine authentic Lithuanian music with jazz, blues, electronic and rap-style music, as well as stylish choreography.

“At the major concert on Lithuanian National Day at Expo 2015, Bel Canto Choir Vilnius will perform Neišeik, Saulalaby Vytautas Miškinis, one of world’s most famous Lithuanian contemporary choral composers. It will also sing authentic Lithuanian songs, arranged by Jonas Tamulionis, Giedrius Svilainis and Robertas Varnas. Some of works will be presented differently, with a tasteful combination of jazz and blues. We will also perform unique Lithuanian sutartinė folk songs protected by UNESCO, which we will offer along with electronic music specifically created by composer Jonas Jurkūnas,” says Dambrauskas.

In its program, Bel Canto Choir Vilnius will be aided by jazz pianist Artūras Anusauskas, sacsofonist Vytautas Labutis, soloist Lina Dambrauskaitė, skrabalai (Lithuania’s folk instrument) player Regimantas Šilinskas and composer Jonas Jurkūnas. The Choir’s performance is directed by choreographer Agnija Šeiko. The choir’s musical program will be complemented by professional dancers, who will wear national costumes of different ethnic regions of Lithuania that have been restored by specialists at the Lithuanian Folk Culture Center. The audience will also enjoy video projections by Rimas Sakalauskas, presenting the country’s regions.

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