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2012 10 10

In the end of October Kaunas State Choir (principal conductor – Professor Petras Bingelis) will leave for a two-week concert tour in a faraway China. The choir was invited to take part in the International Music Festival of Macau that celebrated its silver anniversary last year.
Situated on the southern coast of China Macau that nowadays is under the Chinese rule is the most ancient European colony in China administered by Portugal until 1999. It is the place where influences of various nations and religions are closely interwined; a real crossroad of Eastern and Western cultures. Traveller‘s eye on this distant coast is amazed by the towers and pediments of the Roman Catholic churches vividly resembling the coast of another ocean – the Atlantic and architectural scenery of Portugal lying in the very west of Europe. The Macau old town of marvellous beauty reminds the era of the Portuguese colonial rule and in 2005 was included into the list of UNESCO World Heritage List.
While sounds of the silver anniversary still sound in the memory, the organisers of the festival again invite to the one of the most spectacular musical events in the region that has the main aim – to attract to the stage of Macau the most famous performers and to expand musical horizons of the listeners. This year season of the festival – that is already 26th harmoniously integrate different music genres: opera, symphony, choral and chamber music, musical, performances overwhelming ancient and contemporary music, once again invites the audience for momentous encounter and dialogue between the cultures of East and West. The official site of the event intrigues that this year several surprises are prepared for the audience. The classical pieces will be enlivened by new elements such as jazz music. More than twenty different programmes by the performers from Germany, Austria, Portugal, United Kingdom, Italy, Hungary, Russia, USA, Hong-Kong, China, Macau and as well Lithuania will be introduced. The Broadway musical "Peter Pan" will inaugurate the festival; as well the comic opera by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi "La Serva Padrona" (The Servant Mistress) will be performed.
Kaunas State Choir will debut in China by singing in the staging of opera "Tosca" by Giacomo Puccini together with the Symphonic Orchestra of Macau, conducted by Lü Jia.
The choir will as well introduce the music by the Lithuanian composers. In the site of the festival it is announced that all the tickets are already sold and it is recommended not to miss a performance of a famous choir from Lithuania.
The principal conductor of the choir – Petras Bingelis emphasized that an invitation to take part in the festival is a significant event in the calendar of the collective‘s concert activity and such tours highly contribute to the expanding and consolidation of the cultural links between different countries.
"It is very important we will have an opportunity to introduce the Chinese audience the musical culture of our small country and as well for ourselves to learn about the culture and traditions of this country and its particular region – Macau. We will try to show the best what we possess. We are going to perform classical and as well contemporary pieces", - told P. Bingelis.
The three-act opera "Tosca" by the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini in which Kaunas State Choir will sing is the most important accent of the festival. It is an opus that undoubtedly belongs to the treasury of the Italian opera, gleams the magnitude and elegance of this genre. Wavy and timeless melodies of the opera arias render a real musical bliss for the audience. Current staging of "Tosca" is not only a splendid musical but as well an impressive theatre performance. The close interwine of music and dramatics is an idiosyncratic element of the Macau music festival. Kaunas State Choir is not a novice in this field. One of the most momentous spectaculars performed by the choir is an opera "I Pagliacci" (Clowns) by R. Leoncavallo.
The audience of the Macau music festival will see the opera "Tosca" in the Great Hall of the Macau Culture Centre on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of November. A week before the performances Kaunas State Choir will have general rehearsals with the Macau Symphony Orchestra and soloists form all over the world. A dramatic soprano Ksila Boros from Hungary will sing the part of Floria Tosca. One of her most distinctive recent roles is Abigaile form "Nabucco" by G. Verdi staged in the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Rome. A tenor from Italy – Roberto Aronica who will perform a role of a painter Mario Cavaradossi in 2006 was highly estimated for his debut in the opera "Faust" by Ch. Gounod in the theatre of Parma. As well noteworthy is one more soloist from Italy – a baritone Giovanni Meoni who will play a role of Baron Scarpia. G. Meoni has been awarded numerous distinctions and has created momentous roles in such operas as "Rigoletto", "Nabucco", "Otello", "Aida", "Madame Baterfly" and other.
In the final concert of this year season for the first time in the festival a legendary and prestigious San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (USA) will take part.
As every year courses of artistry will take place during the festival where the most famous music performers from all over the world will share their experience. This is a unique opportunity for the music students of the Macau high schools. And it as well brings to life one of the long-period aims of the festival – to nurture local talents and sustain a high level of the music culture.
After returning from the tour in China Kaunas State Choir will start new works: in November will perform "War Requiem" by Benjamin Britten and "Requiem" by Gabriel Fauré in Kaunas State Philharmonic.
Rimantas Klevečka