Open To The World Festival Unites Vocal Music Stars and 170 Singers

The highly successful Open To The World project by Bel Canto Choir Vilnius is transforming into Vilnius’s first vocal music festival this year. From December 1 to 10, audiences will enjoy five concerts at St. Catherine’s Church and the Lithuanian National Philharmonic, featuring exclusive guests: VOCES8, the Grammy-nominated British vocal ensemble; Zero8, Sweden’s best male voice choir; Ringmasters, the world championship-winning barbershop quartet; Dagilėlis, Lithuania’s best boys choir; and Marius Beck, a Norwegian vocalist and guitarist.

The concerts will also showcase unique content rarely performed in Lithuania. The festival’s choirs and vocal ensembles will harmoniously blend classical, contemporary choral, barbershop, jazz, and popular music alongside Christmas pieces.

“Since the project’s inception in 2018, our ambition has been to infuse fresh energy into the Lithuanian choral music scene and create a more open, diverse, modern Lithuanian community. The Open To The World project has surpassed expectations in terms of both concert attendance and financial sponsorship. Thousands of listeners and repeatedly sold-out concerts inspire us to continue our efforts. We remain committed to our goals – presenting modern choral music, featuring the world’s best choirs, vocal ensembles, and composers, fostering Western culture, and collectively engaging in creation, experimentation, and improvement,” says Audrius Valatkevičius, President, and Producer of Bel Canto Choir Vilnius.

Milda Švelnienė ir choras Bel Canto

Milda Švelnienė, the Artistic Director and Conductor of Bel Canto Choir Vilnius, says that the popularity of the Open to the World project is gratifying and motivating.

“Our entire team is diligently working to ensure that the audience experiences a wide range of emotions, hears works they haven’t encountered before, and witnesses unique performances. Collaborating and performing with top professionals such as VOCES8 and the talented Swedish group Zero8 is a privilege. This encourages us to learn, grow, seek new ideas, and use our imaginations. It’s also crucial for us to showcase talented Lithuanian performers at the festival. Therefore, this year, we will be sharing the stage with the singers of the wonderful boys choir, Dagilėlis (directed by Remigijus Adomaitis), pianist Motiejus Bazaras, and a string quartet led by cellist Augustas Gocentas. I am confident that most music lovers will find something to enjoy during the festival’s five concerts.”

About Open To The World

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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