An Italian Choral Spring
Sing and Enjoy Life the Italian Way
The best way to shake off a gloomy winter is by fully embracing the blossoming spring!
We give you Bella Italia, in all its glory, through the lens of our Italian Choral Spring – events that are designed to pamper you with days of sunshine, exciting tours, delicious food and great performances!
But we are especially looking forward to VOX LUCENSIS from April 9 to 13, 2022 in Lucca, one of the most charming cities in Tuscany and the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini! For the first time ever INTERKULTUR will organize an international choir competition here.
The Artistic Directors of VOX LUCENSIS, Sara Matteucci and Giovanni Acciai can’t wait to welcome the participating choirs in Lucca, one of Tuscany’s most enchanting cities as well as Giacomo Puccini's hometown.
Besides these motivating words, Sara Matteucci and Giovanni Acciai have also answered some questions and tell us their view on the city of Lucca, choral competitions in general and on possible merits that the pandemic has brought to the choral world despite everything:
What is special about Lucca? Why should a choir participate in VOX LUCENSIS?
Sara Matteucci / Giovanni Acciai: "Lucca is a unique city that continues to inspire artists. Its ‘human scale’ makes it a perfect place for an experience in close contact with history, culture and art, and especially with music. Choral music is very popular here, and it has always been at the center of the city's major events. For this reason, when choral singers who visit and perform in this city, they find a particularly favorable atmosphere for their performances and have an experience they can remember forever."
How can an amateur choir benefit from participating in a competition?
Sara Matteucci: "There are many reasons to participate in a competition. In such a context, choirs have the rare opportunity to listen to and compare themselves with other realities of choral singing, often at a high level, which is an unique form of knowledge and cultural exchange. Choirs also have the opportunity to have a valuable "social" experience, not only through contact with other experiences and traditions but also internally in their own ensembles, with the possibility of deepening and strengthening relationships between members, especially when they are traveling. Apart from the possibility of winning or not winning, artistic development is also encouraged by the valuable professional judgment of the jurors, who can give useful advice on the performance and interpretation of the pieces. If you end up winning a prize as well, all the better!"
Giovanni Acciai: "Participating in a choral competition, especially an international one, is an unrepeatable musical and human experience. As my colleague Sara Matteucci has already observed, contact with choirs from all over the world allows one to broaden one's horizons both in terms of musical repertoire and the types of voices used in performing them, as well as the techniques of interpretation adopted.
To get out of one's own enclosure, to go beyond the sphere in which one usually operates in order to broaden one's horizon and to look at unknown realities, culturally and geographically distant and different, means to perform a gesture which, if we look closely, is the very essence of singing in a choir: the socialization of an experience of life in common now no longer matured within a family context but projected into a planetary dimension. Choral events such as the World Choir Games were conceived precisely to meet and encourage this need.This is demonstrated in an exemplary way by the enthusiastic adhesion that this global competition has received since its foundation from choirs all over the world. Not even the most terrible of pandemics will be able to stop the need that choirs have to to break down the barriers that separate them from each other in order to to gather and sing together.
What remains of a people when it is deprived of its history, its art, its culture?”
Has this pandemic also brought positive elements to the choral world in your opinion?
Sara Matteucci: Choral music was harshly hit by the pandemic, just think of choirs’ impossibility to rehearse together or the paradox of having to sing, when possible, far apart from each other and with a mask... However, this situation has pushed most of the choirs to come up with alternative solutions, especially through the use of technology, and this has certainly brought a breath of fresh air in the choral scene, a sort of “update” to our times, and in this way the choral activity was also able to enjoy new publicity and greater visibility on social networks.
Giovanni Acciai: "In addition, the difficult conditions enforced by the pandemic allowed many choir directors to understand to what extent their choristers' dedication to the choral practice was solid, rather than ephimeral. The singers who, in spite of the difficulties imposed on them by Covid-19, did not let themselves be discouraged but reacted firmly and stubbornly, affirmed once again the strength, the greatness, the ineffability of singing in a choir. Even participating in rehearsals from a distance, they did not get discouraged, they did not give up, but testified with courage and determination what it really means to be part of a community and what is the extraordinary strength of the voice that becomes a song.”
In 2022 Bella Italia awaits you! Where shall we meet?