A film concert straight from the 17th century in which spectators are drawn Body and Soul into a quest for paradise, exalted by voices and dance. A contemporary opera that brings together the Little Match Girl and the St Matthew Passion. New, sublime voices echo in the works of Henry Purcell, Claudio Monteverdi and Arvo Pärt. Lectures and debates reveal improbable links between science and experience, meditation and music. And sometimes stretching out into the middle of the night.
You can expect these discoveries and more from the Flagey Choir Days, Flagey’s first festival dedicated to the vocal art, from 13 to 15 October. All through the weekend, first-rate artists and the best European choirs will perform a varied and eclectic repertoire. Lionel Meunier, founder of Vox Luminis and curator of the festival, has invited world-renowned ensembles such as the Theatre of Voices, Sjaella, Vox Clamantis and, of course, Vox Luminis itself. The programme will combine old and contemporary music, dance and text, and will explore the work of an exceptional guest of honour, American composer David Lang. The festival will close with the premiere of his work we were, co-commissioned by Flagey.
Opening the festival (13.10.2023, 8.15pm, Studio 4), La Rappresentatione di anima e di corpo by Emilio de’ Cavalieri, performed by Vox Luminis, will exalt voices and bodies in what was, at the dawn of the 17th century, the first oratorio to combine scenography, dance and music. A film concert well ahead of its time, with Emilie Lauwers in charge of scenography and video.
One of the highlights of the Flagey Choir Days will be the production of the opera the little match girl passion (14.10.2023, 8.15pm, Studio 4) by the Danish Theatre of Voices, conducted by Paul Hillier. This is a major work by David Lang, the great American composer and artist-in-residence at Flagey for the duration of the festival. Hailed by The Guardian as one of the top 25 works of classical music written in the 21st century, the opera won its composer a Pulitzer Prize in 2008, and a Grammy Award in 2010. David Lang is also known for composing the soundtracks of films such as Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Belezza and Youth. A song from Youth, namely simple song #3, was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe in 2016. Flagey Choir Days will feature a screening of the film, as well as talks with David Lang, Paul Hillier and neurologist Dr Steven Laureys.
At the closing concert (15.10.2023, 5pm, Studio 4), Estonian choir Vox Clamantis will perform vocal works by Arvo Pärt and a new work by David Lang, completing a quadrilogy that celebrates the sensuality of the Song of Songs.
Full programme and practical information via www.flagey.be