Open To The World ’23: VOCES8 & Ringmasters
One Night Only: VOCES8, the Grammy-nominated world’s finest and most renowned British vocal ensemble, will join forces with Ringmasters, Sweden’s premier vocal ensemble, for a collaborative concert in Vilnius. Together, they will present an extraordinary festive program that seamlessly blends classical, contemporary, barbershop, and popular music.
Open To The World 2023 Vocal Music Festival presents a special evening in Vilnius. 9 pm on Saturday, December 2, at the cozy St. Catherine’s Church, VOCES8 and Ringmasters will deliver a stylistically diverse, atmospheric, and unique musical program. This marks Ringmasters’ inaugural visit to Lithuania and the first joint concert of the talented British and Swedish performers in the country.
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Rolls-Royce of British A Cappella Ensembles
VOCES8 is renowned for its highly sensitive, luminous, and elegant sound. The group uses an astonishingly meticulous method that controls and harmonizes the natural vibrato of each of its members and, if necessary, neutralizes it completely. This creates a unique and silky-smooth sound.
A new dimension to the word ‘ensemble’
The ensemble receives regular praise from critics, such as: ‘The Rolls-Royce of British a cappella ensembles’ (The Art Desk), ‘A perfect blend of calm contentment and soaring spirit’ (The Independent), and ‘They bring a new dimension to the word ‘ensemble’ with meticulous timing and tuning’ (Gramophone Magazine).
The vocal ensemble’s repertoire effortlessly combines music from various styles and eras, from 18th-century polyphonies to original jazz and popular music arrangements.
VOCES8 will be visiting Lithuania for the third time as part of the Open To The World project. In 2018 and 2021, they performed four sold-out concerts with Bel Canto Choir Vilnius, captivating audiences with their stunning performances. This year, they will return to their beloved Vilnius to perform not only with the hosting Lithuanian choir but also with other guests of the Open To The World 2023 festival.
Inspired by The Simpsons
The world champions of barbershop music seamlessly blend their extraordinary virtuosity with the infectious energy of pop music. Their vibrant melodies and captivating live performances take audiences on a journey, spanning from beloved barbershop classics to enchanting Swedish choral music and from the timeless tunes of Simon and Garfunkel to the iconic hits of the Beatles and Elvis Presley. The remarkable talents of these Swedish performers will not only astonish you with their sonorous, meticulously harmonized chords and perfect consonance but also with their tasteful choreography.
The members of Ringmasters are classically trained choral singers from Stockholm’s most prestigious music schools. However, in 2006, after stumbling upon barbershop music in an episode of The Simpsons, the group of friends decided that singing in Sweden’s best choirs was not enough. They underwent six years of intensive training before finally being crowned the best barbershop quartet in the world in 2012. Ringmasters became the first non-American group to win the world’s most important barbershop music competition, organized by the Barbershop Harmony Society.
One Night Only in Vilnius: VOCES8 & Ringmasters at the Cozy St. Catherine’s Church
VOCES8 and Ringmasters also prepare for a spectacular finale featuring two premieres specially crafted for the Vilnius concert. These beloved British and Swedish groups will showcase Ringmasters’ leader Rasmus Krigström’s composition, “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” which is set to the lyrics of Alfred Lord Tennyson. Additionally, they will present a rendition of the gospel hymn “Shall We Gather By The River,” arranged by VOCES8 tenor Blake Morgan.
Leonard Bernstein, arr. Jay Giallombardo
Everybody Says Don’t
Stephen Sondheim, arr. Aaron Dale
Anthony Newley & Leslie Bricusse, arr. Patrick McAlexander
Here Comes Santa Claus
Oakly Haldeman & Gene Autry, arr. Marshall Webb
Sankt Staffans Visa
Traditional, arr. Helene Stureborg
You Can Fly
Sammy Cahn & Sammy Fain, arr. Clay Hine
Kostas Lazarides & Raul Malo, arr. Rasmus Krigström
Bring Him Home
Claude-Michel Schonberg & Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil, arr. Peter Rupay
Bells of Notre Dame/Out There
Alan Menken, arr. Aaron Dale
May It Be
Enya, arr. Matthew Sheeran
Rorate Caeli Desuper
The Unexpected Early Hour
The Sleeping Child
Lully, Lulla, Lullay
Maria Durch ein Dornwald Ging
Traditional, arr. Stefan Claas
All Seems Beautiful to Me
Don McLean, arr. Jim Clements
Jay Livingston & Ray Evans, arr. Blake Morgan
Let it Snow
Jule Steyn, arr. Jim Clements
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
John Coots & Haven Gillespie, arr. Jim Clements
VOCES8 & Ringmasters Together
Ring Out, Wild Bells
Shall We Gather By The River
Traditional, arr. Blake Morgan
Artists & Performers
VOCES8 (artistic director Barnaby Smith)
Ringmasters (artistic director Rasmus Krigström)
Producers of the Open To The World 2023 Vocal Music Festival: Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and Audrius Valatkevičius.
Sponsors & Partners
Open To The World 2023
Bel Canto Choir Vilnius’ Open To The World is a unique choral music project in Lithuania that has become a tradition. This year it will evolve into Vilnius’s first-ever vocal-choral music festival. It aims to introduce modern choral music, the world’s best choirs, vocal ensembles, and composers to Lithuanian audiences, promote Western culture, and create, innovate, and improve. Together.
Open To The World 2023 guests include Grammy-nominated VOCES8, the world’s best and most popular British vocal ensemble; Zero8, Sweden’s best and most popular men’s choir; Sweden’s premier vocal ensemble Ringmasters, Dagilėlis, the best boys choir in Lithuania, and Norwegian vocalist and guitarist Marius Beck.
The festival is sponsored by engineering, prefab, and construction company INHUS, Business Garden Vilnius office park, Newsec, the largest property consultancy in Scandinavia, and the Baltics, Vilnius City Municipality, and the Lithuanian Council for Culture. The project’s media partner is LRT TV, and its advertising partner is Ogilvy advertising agency.