Opening Service © INTERKULTUR

Voices raise for peace

Opening Mass in Assisi is dedicated to Claudio Monteverdi

In times of trouble and international crisis’ the choir festival “VOICES FOR PEACE” in Assisi is a good way to return to most important values for humans living together and stand up for world peace and international understanding.

13 choirs from 8 nations have followed the call and came to Assisi in order to join the festival and competition and point the way for peace on the tracks of St. Francis who was born and lived in this magical place in Umbria. The official welcome at the Opening service thus reminded them again that "singing in Assisi, a place full of symbols and spirituality, offers a unique experience, especially because choral singing is the noblest demonstration of the human being’s spirituality and its wish to share it with the others and feel closer to the divine."

The Opening Mass on April 19, 16:30 in the Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli with cooperation of the Ensemble Libercantus from Perugia marked the official opening of the event. The mass was read by Padre Maurizio Verde, who is a famous musician and Gregorian. It was further dedicated to the Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi on the occasion of his 450th birthday this year. At the beginning of the mass Ensemble Libercantus sung the composer’s “Adoramus Te, Christe”, during the mass they performed his “Messa a quattro voci a cappella”.

For the final song the participating choirs raised their voices for peace for the first time in this festival: Together they sung “Dona nobis pacem” (“Grant us peace”), the traditional canon which is known all over the world. During this song the Basilica was filled with a very special atmosphere.