A spectacular, colourful and thought-provoking performance about liberation will open the 2014 Bergen International Festival. Singers from Palestine, Sri Lanka and South Africa join Nordic singers and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in a tribute to fights for freedom around the world.
With the bicentennial of the Norwegian Constitution and battles for freedom in India, South Africa and Palestine as a starting-point, Voices will link different musical expressions with excerpts from constitutions, declarations of independence, protest songs, folk songs and poetry of resistance.
The British composer Orlando Gough will put the performance together. He is well known for his imaginative performances which often put professionals and amateurs, local artists and international choirs and soloists together on stage. Professional and amateur choirs from all over the county will participate in the project.
Astrid Luisa Niebuhr (18) and the young members of the local multi-national musical performance group Fargespill have been asked to write a new Norwegian constitution, which will be the grand finale of the performance.
Palestinian Reem Kelani, Manickam Yogeswaran from Sri Lanka, South singer Thandi Swartbooi and Sami Wimme Saari perform together with opera singers Hanna Husáhr and Njabulo Madlala. Violinist/fiddler Nils Økland, a band led by Ole André Farstad, choirs from all over Western Norway and and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra will also be performing.
Texts by Gina Krog, Nelson Mandela, Emmeline Pankhurst, Mohindas Gandhi, Jaharwarhal Nehru, David Ben Gurion, Daniel François Malan et al.
New Norwegian constitution by Astrid Luisa Niebuhr and members of Fargespill: Jeran Karunairaja, Anney Niokindi, Irene Kinunda, Mona Ibrahim Ahmed, Ann Shanthya Thevanathan, Ahmed Naif al-Badri, Tuva Tveit and Gutu Abere
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Orlando Gough concept and music
Charles Hazelwood conductor
Olivia Fuchs director
Wimme Saari, Reem Kalani, Manickam Yogeswaran, Thandi Swartbooi, Hanna Husáhr and Njabulo Madlala soloists
Nils Økland, Ole André Farstad, Stein Urheim, Anders Bitustøyl and Snorre Bjerck musicians
Edvard Grieg Choir
Ålesund Chamber Choir
Singers from Bergen Philharmonic Choir
Music students at Bergen Private Gymnas
Bergen National Opera’s children’s choir
Singers from Fargespill
Pre-talk with Orlando Gough in the Grieghallen foyer:
Wednesday 21 May at 18:00
Thursday 22 May at 18:15
Presented by the Bergen International Festival and Bergen National Opera in cooperation with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Den Nationale Scene.
A production by Bergen National Opera.