St Petersburg, Concert Hall

Utopia & Reality chamber choir

II International Chorus Festival Maslenitsa in Song

Utopia & Reality chamber choir
Conductors: Urša Lah, Ragnar Rasmussen

Nikolai Sidelnikov
Robber Song and The Last Cry of the Accordion from the cantata Cordial Talks

Lojze Lebič
Iz kamna v vodi

Einojuhani Rautavaara
Lorca Suite

Arnold Schoenberg
Friede auf Erden, Op. 13

Ragnar Rasmussen

Bruremarsj fra Sørfold, traditional song (arranged by Bjørn Andor Drage)

About the performers

The Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir is an international chorus founded in 2011 by two conductors - Ragnar Rasmussen from Norway and Urša Lah from Slovenia. They have brought together talented young singers from different countries to perform contemporary choral music. The aim of the project is to perform, on a high artistic level, to encourage singers to think about the role of art in society today, to explore different ways of affecting audiences and to develop young singers through establishing a strong role for the individual in the group. Encouraged by their excellent singing companions, each young singer rapidly increases his or her singing capacities, grows in the role of a performer and also develops a sense of tolerance towards different nations through learning about their singing traditions.

The choir meets on a regular basis; these meetings are usually connected amid festivals where singers perform following an intensive rehearsal period. In addition to shared rehearsals, both conductors rehearse with the assistance of individuals by the help of modern technology, using Skype/FaceTime. The project has turned out to be a success and Utopia & Reality has (as a guest chorus) memorably performed at international festivals including Piran Musical Evenings (Slovenia, July 2011), the International Choral Festival VOCE! in Bosco Chiesanuova, the festival Concerti nel Chiostro in Verona (Italy, July 2013 and the Nordlysfestivalen in Tromsø (Norway), in January 2014 as well as the XII China International Choral Festival in Beijing (where the choir represented Europe) in August 2014, the II City of Derry International Choral Festival in October 2014. In October 2015 the Arts Council of Northern Ireland organised a tour for the choir in Northern Ireland.

Age category 6+

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