ECA «Peer to Peer Training» August 2021
between Alessandro Cadario, conductor from Italy, and the extended Lucerne Boys Choir from Switzerland
In 2019, the „Male voices of the Lucerne Boys Choir” were given the opportunity to get to know the work of Alessandro Cadario in an ECA studio, during the Festival Youth Choirs in Movement in Bonn: “The Groove of Classical Music – Excerpts from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana staged as a scenic cantata”. A. Cadario’s extraordinary concept for Carl Orff’s masterpiece was so inspiring that further colaboration was investigated. For the “10th anniversary” of the Boys Choir Lucerne in 2021, it seemed like the perfect project. Despite the adverse circumstances in 2020, the planning for this ambitious venture continued. It was a great honour and a pleasure when it was selected by the ECA as a “Peer to Peer Training”.
Alessandro Cadario travelled to Lucerne on 7th August 2021 for the first phase of preparation. His conceptual idea was based on the subtitle specially created by Carl Orff: “Cantiones profanae cantoribus et choris cantandae comitantibus instrumentatis atque imaginibus magicis“. It was these magical images that fascinated Alessandro Cadario. Of course, the work has often been enriched with actors and/or dancers in performances, but to our knowledge no one has yet faced the challenge of the choir singers presenting these images themselves.
The Boys Choir Lucerne (men’s and boys’ voices) was expanded for this project with 25 experienced singers from the region. The requirement to sing the whole work by heart made the search a little more difficult than expected. In the end, 45 singers of different ages, as well as 18 boys, came to rehearse. Because the planned choreographies required a lot of space, this was the maximum. The choir singers were extremely well prepared musically by Andreas Wiedmer, the musical director of the BCL. Thus, already in the first rehearsals with Alessandro, the choreographic work could already start. During the rehearsal breaks, a lively exchange began between the conductors, both of whom are passionately committed to the promotion of young talent.
It was a stroke of luck that with Yvonne Sieber (Lucerne) a choreographer and dancer was found, who herself comes from a family of musicians and has gained a lot of choral and instrumental experience in her youth. In this way, she was able to convey Alessandro’s ideas with a lot of knowledge and commitment and let the singers immerse themselves in the project with the choreographic work. The actors are always in motion during the singing, sometimes portraying the wheel of fate, put a coquettish dance on stage to awaken spring feelings, or getting inebriated in the tavern. It took several hours until every woman, every man and every child knew approximately when to move from where to where…… despite the highest concentration, the atmosphere was always excellent thanks to the fantastic management crew. During the breaks, the texts was practiced and memorised in order not to have to think too much during the choreos.
In the second rehearsal phase, which again lasted 3 days, it was time for musical and choreographic refinement. All singers had internalized the processes by watching videos of the previous rehearsals in advance. The goal was to maintain the high musical standard despite the many movements. In addition, a lot of time was spent on understanding the texts in order to inspire and improve the acting.
For the organizers, it was clear that this huge effort should result in a set of concerts. At the beginning of September, Alessandro Cadario returned to work together with the committed singers and the entire management team in order to finalise preparations for the concerts. The MaiHof Church in Lucerne provided the perfect concert venue. The church with excellent acoustics provided also a space that could be completely freed from the chairs and thus used as a stage. Raised seating on a platform was built up in the entrance area so that the audience could admire all the choreographic work from above.
The artistic result exceeded all expectations among spectators which included also several music professionals. The basic idea of Alessandro Cadario could be fully implemented. Exciting musical moments and unforgettable pictures remain captured in our memories.
We would like to thank the ECA for their support!
for the Boys Choir Lucerne
President Regula Schneider
10 years Boys Choir Lucerne
In the summer of 2011, the idea of founding a boys’ choir of a different kind became reality. Then, as now, the management team set itself the goal of never neglecting fun and playfulness with the singers, despite working at a high musical level. However, the BCL also attaches particular importance to supporting the singers who have been trained over the years after the voice break (Male voices of the BCL) with tailor-made programs.
The well-founded development work and the creation of extraordinary projects are reflected in great popularity among music professionals and the general public. The performances at the ECA Festival «Youth Choirs in Movement» in 2019 are unforgettable. The choirs of the BCL are led by Andreas Wiedmer and Marcel Fässler. www.boys-choir-lucerne.ch