Open To The World ’23: VOCES8 & Zero8

One Night Only: Grammy-nominated VOCES8, the most popular British vocal ensemble, joined forces with Zero8, Sweden’s premier male choir, for their inaugural concert in Vilnius. Both presented an exclusive festive program, seamlessly blending classical and modern choral pieces, barbershop harmonies, and beloved popular music.

Open To The World 2023 Vocal Music Festival presented a special concert in Vilnius. On December 2, at the cozy St Catherine’s Church in Vilnius, VOCES8 and Zero8 performed a stylistically diverse, atmospheric, and unique musical program. This remarkable concert marked the first time VOCES8 and Zero8 performed together, and the Vilnius audience was the first to witness their harmonious collaboration.

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Rolls-Royce of British A Cappella Ensembles

Zero8 & Voces8

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.


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 combined music from various styles and eras, from 18th-century polyphonies to original jazz and popular music arrangements.

VOCES8 visited 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. In 2023, they returned to their beloved Vilnius to perform with the hosting Lithuanian choir and other guests of the Open To The World 2023 festival.


Zero8 has made a name for itself as a barbershop, jazz, and pop choir, but it eventually expanded its repertoire to include classical works. With over 40 singers, the choir has won the European Barbershop Championship four times in a row, received numerous awards, and represented Sweden at the 2019 Eurovision Choir Contest.

Last year, Zero8 made its debut in Lithuania as part of the Open To The World 2022 project. Alongside the Bel Canto Choir Vilnius, they presented a remarkable sold-out concert at the Philharmonic.

This year, the Swedish group returns to Vilnius not only to reunite with the Bel Canto Choir Vilnius but also to meet VOCES8 for the first time. Their joint concert with the British ensemble will skillfully blend diverse musical styles and eras, seamlessly weaving pieces from the Renaissance, gospel, and even musicals.

Unique Night in Vilnius: VOCES8 and Zero8 in the cozy St. Catherine’s Church

VOCES8 and Zero8 presented an epic concert finale, too. The main highlight was the second movement of Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “Going Home” (arranged by David Wright and adapted by Rasmus Krigström). The Swedish and British groups performed this particularly sensitive and uplifting work together.

Concert Program



Welcome Christmas
Albert Hauge, arr. David Wright

Jul, Jul, Strålande
Gustaf Nordqvist

Una Hora Non Potuistis
Carlo Gesualdo

Michael McGlynn

In The Bleak Midwinter
Gustav Holst, arr. Joseph H. Jennings

Daemon Irrepit Callidus
Györgi Orban

Wind Horse
Toru Takemitsu

Sure On This Shining Night
Jay Giallombardo

Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel
Traditional, arr. Aaron Dale


May It Be
Enya, arr. Matthew Sheeran

Rorate Caeli Desuper
William Byrd

The Unexpected Early Hour
Reena Esmail


The Sleeping Child
Bob Chilcott

Lully, Lulla, Lullay
Philip Stopford

Maria Durch ein Dornwald Ging
Traditional, arr. Stefan Claas

The Oxen
Jonathan Rathbone

All Seems Beautiful to Me
Eric Whitacre

Don McLean, arr. Jim Clements

Silver Bells
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 & Zero8 Together

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
Michael Praetorius, arr. Jan Sandström

Going Home
Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, Mvt. II
Arr. David Wright, adaptation Rasmus Krigström

Artists & Performers

VOCES8 (artistic director Barnaby Smith)
Zero8 (artistic director & conductor 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.

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