Open to the World. Männerstimmen Basel and Bel Canto Choir Vilnius. Together.

A cozy evening of choral music in Vilnius. Swiss male voice choir Männerstimmen Basel and Bel Canto Choir Vilnius take the stage, together!

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and Männerstimmen Basel, one of the best Swiss male voice choirs, presented the fourth concert from the Open to the World series. On October 12, 2018, Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and the men’s chorus from Basel performed an intimate concert of choral music at the cozy St Catherine’s Church in Vilnius.

Knickerbockers, a pair of braces, and corduroy jackets: the antiquated look of the Männerstimmen Basel choristers is in stark contrast to the youth of these lads and their fresh performances.

Aged between 18-32 years, they have impressed audiences and juries in their home country, Switzerland, as well as abroad. For example, they have won Gold medals at the World Choir Games in Riga (Latvia 2014) and Cincinnati (Ohio 2012), and also the Grand Prix prizes at the Cornwall International Male Voices Festival (England 2015) and the Cracovia Cantans International Competition (Poland 2017). Moreover, the Männerstimmen Basel were recognized with the “Fleischmann International Trophy” (Ireland 2011) for the best interpretation of a contemporary piece.

This energetic choir combines passion and ease, both on and off stage. Having a laugh together is just as important as rehearsing and performing. Thanks to the sponsorship by a local brewery in their hometown Basel, the choristers’ supply of amber nectar is ever-flowing.

Love for little-known and forgotten choral music

In concert, however, everyone is focused and attentive to the instructions of conductor Oliver Rudin and vice-conductor David Rossel. The choir performs a large repertoire of sacred and secular music from all epochs along with folk songs, and contemporary classical music with ardor and style. The two conductors carefully select the pieces to satisfy the choir’s high standards. Ready for any challenge, the choir also revisits unknown and long forgotten music.

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius’ passion for modern choral music

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius performed works by contemporary composers Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, Raimonds Tiguls, Malcolm Dalglish, and others.

The concert also featured a string quartet ‘Archi Quartett’, a hang player Tomas Byčkovas and a guitarist Saulius Lipčius. The evening culminated with a piece by Lithuanian composer Vaclovas Augustinas titled Pater Noster, which will be performed by 90 choir singers from Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and Männerstimmen Basel.

The artistic director and conductor of the Männerstimmen Basel is Oliver Rudin; the choir’s second conductor is David Rossel. Bel Canto Choir Vilnius’ artistic director and conductor is Dr. Egidijus Kaveckas; its second conductor and choirmaster is Milda Zapolskaitė; choirmaster and concertmaster is Raminta Gocentienė, and its vocal coach is Liudas Norvaišas.

The concert’s producers were Audrius Valatkevičius (Bel Canto Choir Vilnius) and David Rossel (Männerstimmen Basel).

Open to the World

Open to the World is a 5-concert series by Bel Canto Choir Vilnius, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania’s independence. During the Open to the World series, Bel Canto performs together with two of the world’s most popular contemporary composers, Eric Whitacre (USA) and Ola Gjeilo (USA/Norway), two of Sweden’s best choirs Svanholm Singers and Sofia Vokalensemble, the elite vocal ensemble VOCES8 (UK), and the fantastic Swiss choir Männerstimmen Basel.

The aim of the project is to present the world’s best to Lithuanian audiences, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, to be, create, innovate, learn and improve. Together.

The concert in photos

Open to the World video

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Concert Program. Bel Canto Choir Vilnius

Moonlight Sound Design
Raimonds Tiguls

Eric Whitacre

Ov’é Lass’, Il Bel Viso
Morten Lauridsen

Little Potato
Malcolm Dalglish

Say Something
A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera, arr. Pentatonix

Lux Aurumque and choral score of Deep Field
Eric Whitacre

Concert Program. Männerstimmen Basel 

Veni, veni, Emmanuel
Mark D. Templeton

Domine non sum dignus
Tomás Luis de Victoria

Psaume 121, op 72
Darius Milhaud

Bogoroditchen, op. 22/4
David Rossel

Fanfare du printemps
Joseph Bovet

La sera sper il lag
Gion Balzer Casanova

Quattro cavai che trottano
Otto Uhlmann

Chester Gill

Vier Rheinlieder: III. Nachts
Hans Huber

Othmar Schoeck

Leelo läbi aja
Andres Lemba

Pater Noster
Vaclovas Augustinas
Performed by Männerstimmen Basel & Bel Canto Choir Vilnius together

Artists & Performers

Männerstimmen Basel
Artistic director and conductor Oliver Rudin

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius
Artistic director and conductor Dr. Egidijus Kaveckas

Archi Quartett String Quartet

Tomas Byčkovas

Saulius Lipčius
Acoustic Guitar

Concert’s producers: Audrius Valatkevičius (Bel Canto Choir Vilnius) and David Rossel (Männerstimmen Basel).

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