Fight for freedom to open the 2014 Festival

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September 06, 2013

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 in the 2014 opening performance.

– We will open the 2014 Bergen International Festival with a spectacular, colourful and thought-provoking performance about liberation. The performance is called Voices & Votes, and is presented by the Bergen International Festival and Bergen National Opera (BNO). It takes the bicentennial of the Norwegian Constitution and fights from freedom in India, South Africa and Palestine as its starting-point, says Festival Director Anders Beyer.

Constitution texts and protest songs

Behind this world premiere is the British composer Orlando Gough. 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. The premiere will be in the Grieg Hall on 21 May 2014. – Voices & Votes will link different musical expressions with excerpts from constitutions, declarations of independence, protest songs, folk songs and poetry of resistance, says Mary Miller, who has worked with Orlando Gough in the UK, USA and Norway.

New constitution

For this Festival performance author Astrid Luisa Niebuhr (19) 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 African singer Thandi Swartbooi and Sami Wimme Saari perform 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 the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra are also performing.

Voices & Votes is presented by the Bergen International Festival and Bergen National Opera, in cooperation with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Den Nationale Scene.

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