Carmen manet – Music that lingers
Choir Spotlight on the winner of Eurovision Choir 2017
When Carmen manet step on stage you feel that something magical is about to happen!
The thirty female singers embrace the stage, make it their own, pour their hearts and souls into a flawless performance, and leave with songs still resonating through the audience.
Such was their powerful performance at the first-ever Eurovision Choir of the Year, where they came out bearing the title Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017 in their elegant lace gowns and flower wreaths. The jury, made up of British composer John Rutter, Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča and Swiss conductor Nicolas Fink, praised the strength in timbre, tone, power, and the nuanced delivery. The audience was fascinated by the graceful harmony of voices, the excellent choreography and, above all, the strong emotional connection inspired by the singers and the performance.
Carmen manet in Latin means the song remains, something that quite succinctly explains both how the choir came to be and what path they intend to follow.
Founded in 2011, the female chamber choir is composed of the best singers of past and present generations of the Gimnazija Kranj Girls Choir. These were highschool girls who refused to let go of their choir and friendships after graduation determined instead to stick together and continue singing. This is how the song stayed with them. And this is how singing has helped them stay together, find harmony amidst the differences, and come alive as a choir.
Through the years, Carmen manet and their conductor and musical guru, Mr. Primož Kerštanj, have already achieved outstanding results at many prestigious INTERKULTUR events as well as in several national and international competitions. Their winning performances at the 50th Montreaux International Choral Competition in April 2014 and at the Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017 were important turning points in their choir story and marked a new era of well-deserved opportunities and invitations for cooperation from all over Slovenia and abroad.
We are therefore happy that Carmen manet decided to share with us a video prepared just for the occasion spiced up with a few memorable details that make the choir so special to all their fans and audiences.
We also asked Carmen manet a few insider questions about their choir and secret of success, and we are thrilled to share their thoughts with you.
What are the greatest benefits that have derived from your participation in choir competitions?
With each participation in the choir competition, Carmen manet goes a step or two higher, both in terms of the quality of our creation, as well as in terms of making new contacts, exchanging ideas and experiences and learning about a new country, culture and customs.
We usually prepare for the competition for several months, as the chosen program is complex and weighty, and we always want to add a visual-choreographic effect to it. The preparation is so demanding for us, but with a clear goal - to prove that we can reach the highest places in renowned choral competitions. The final announcement of the results is always something special and arouses feelings of excitement and anticipation in the singers, as the critiques of music experts ultimately tell us how good we really are.
Meeting choir enthusiasts from all over the world expands our music map, opens up new opportunities for collaborations and enriches us with new ideas for future projects.
What is one thing that you’ve learnt as part of a choir that you think you wouldn’t have learned otherwise?
There are 30 girls in the choir, who are very, very different from each other, and with the right leadership, energy and desire, we are able to create real magic together. So, the main thing I’ve learned is what a well-tuned group with the right leader is capable of.
What is success for you as a choir member?
As a member of the choir, it is a success for me when we carry out the project from the conceptual design to the final performance of the concert, and in the end the audience rewards us with standing ovations and genuine enthusiasm, showing us that our creation is truly top notch and worth all the effort.
What is your greatest failure and what did you learn from it? How do you deal with the possibility of failure now?
Carmen manet was founded in 2011 and from the very beginning we have participated in highly acclaimed international choral competitions several times a year, where we have always been very successful (golden award and victories in categories).
In 2015 we received our very first silver diploma ever at the Rimini International Choral Competition. As we look back, we would not say it was such a big failure, but at that moment it sure felt that way. Our performance was bad for our standards, we did not seem to be as prepared as we usually were and half of the choir was sick which enabled us to show what we are capable of. Silver is not bad, but for us it was a disaster.
We disappointed each other, but we got back up pretty quickly and from that point on we only got better and better. At the moment failure is not an option. We are not saying it cannot happen, but we try to eliminate the risk with hard work and well thought through preparation.
If you could choose one performance of your choir so far that best represents them, which one would it be?
Carmen manet’s winning performance at Eurovision Choir 2017.
Adrca and Ta na Solbici were written especially for this occasion and through these two exceptional songs we had the opportunity to show all our energy, attunement and strength. At that moment all our previous hard work somehow seemingly assembled. We sang our hearts out and left our souls on that stage. When the performance was finished, we went backstage, just hugged each other and started crying. It was such an emotional roller coaster.
The greatest impact of our victory was shown when we arrived back in Slovenia, when we were overwhelmed with compliments, interviews, and concert offers. All of a sudden, everyone knew who Carmen manet was and all our further creations were able to rise to a whole new level, which was made possible because of Eurovision Choir.
Quick facts about Carmen manet:
Choir: Carmen manet Female Choir
Conductor: Primož Kerštanj
Repertoire: Folk, Sacred, Pop, Jazz
Winner of the Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017
Winner of 12 Gold Awards, 3 Silver Awards, 2 Platinum Awards, and
4 First Prizes at National and International Choral Festivals and Events
Apollo 18 (2018)
Pesem severnega vetra (2013)
Make sure to follow the choir’s latest projects on the internet: