Dreamweaver. A Christmas Concert of Bel Canto Choir Vilnius & Friends

Bel Canto’s Christmas program and the Lithuanian premiere of Ola Gjeilo’s latest work Dreamweaver.

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius, Lithuania’s best choir, invited listeners to celebrate 2017 Holiday season at a pair of intimate and elegant concerts at the St Catherine’s Church in Vilnius. On two consecutive nights – December 15 & 16, 2017 – Bel Canto performed the Lithuanian premiere of Dreamweaver, composed by Ola Gjeilo, one of the world’s most popular contemporary composers.

Bel Canto also presented music by other prominent contemporary composers, such as Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, Eriks Ešenvalds, as well as choral arrangements of popular songs.

The centrepiece of the concerts was the Lithuanian premiere of Dreamweaver, Ola Gjeilo’s latest composition for chorus, piano and string orchestra. Dreamweaver’s text is based on a well-known Norwegian medieval folk poem, Draumkvedet (the Dream Poem); an epic ballad that has a lot in common with Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Draumkvedet’s protagonist, Olav Åsteson, falls asleep on Christmas Eve and sleeps until the twelfth day of Christmas. After waking up, he rides to church to describe his dreams to the congregation — about his brave, beautiful, terrifying and ultimately redeeming journey through the afterlife. Draumkvedet has been playfully adapted for Dreamweaver by poet Charles Anthony Silvestri.

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius also performed Morten Lauridsen’s wonderful piece Dirait-on. Les Chansons Des Roses, O Emmanuel by Latvian composer Eriks Ešenvalds, Eric Whitacre’s Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine, for which Bel Canto won the Grand Prix at Lithuania’s premier choral competition, and others.

In addition, Bel Canto Choir Vilnius explored other sounds and musical styles, performing choral arrangements of well-known pop songs like Bridge Over Troubled Water (Paul Simon, arranged by Vince Peterson) and even the traditional American gospel song Down to the River to Pray.

The Dreamweaver Concerts featured Bel Canto’s friends, Lithuania’s great young talents: soloists Lina Dambrauskaitė and Sandra Lebrikaitė, fourteen musicians of  string ensemble Mikroorkéstra and saxophonist Tomas Želvys. Bel Canto’s choirmaster Raminta Gocentienė joined them on piano.

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius’ Artistic Director Dr. Egidijus Kaveckas, the second conductor and choirmaster Milda Zapolskaitė, choirmaster and concertmaster Raminta Gocentienė. Concert Organizer: Bel Canto Choir Vilnius (Producer Audrius Valatkevičius).

Dreamweaver concert in photos

Concert Program

Evening Prayer
Ola Gjeilo

O Emmanuel
Eriks Ešenvalds

Dirait-on. Les Chansons Des Roses
Morten Lauridsen

Sonnets Et Rondeaux
Giovanni Sollima

The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun
Celtic Woman

Premiere: Dreamweaver
Ola Gjeilo

Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine
Eric Whitacre

George Gershwin

The Glow
Eric Whitacre

Bridge Over Troubled Water
Paul Simon, arr. Vince Peterson

Down to the River to Pray
Traditional American gospel song

Artists & Performers

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius
Artistic Director Dr. Egidijus Kaveckas

Lina Dambrauskaitė and Sandra Lebrikaitė

Vilnius String Ensemble (Artistic Director Martynas Levickis)

Raminta Gocentienė

Tomas Želvys

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