LETTONIE – LATVIA : Riga
Blagovest, conducted by Aleksandrs Brandavs
For more information : www.blagovest-choir.com
” Thank you for your initiative!
Indeed, this time has turned upside down ourlives and habits of being together.
This year “Blagovest” celebrates its 30th Anniversary. Emergency state due to corona pandemic struck us suddenly and crossed out all our ambitious plans for anniversary season. We had just prepared a new interesting programme for our annual Great Lenten concert to be held in end March. But on 13th March the emergency state was declared cancelling all public events. By then we still hoped to perform our concert in a form of life video translation or recording, but that was ruled out, and soon after strict restrictions of gatherings of people were imposed and any physical meetings of amateur choirs in any format were forbidden.
So, our concert was cancelled, rehearsals stopped, and on 13thApril we celebrated our birthday by exchange of virtual greetings.
However, in order to keep up our vocal level and not loose time preparing for our anniversary concert, we decided to work online in the form of individual 20 minutes rehearsal sessions on Skype or WhatsApp with each choir member. Each choir member has been asked to study the scores and prepare their parts in advance, as well as to organize their warmup of voice. We chose not to practicecollective singing on Zoom or other digital platform due to poor synchronism and quality of sound.
I have to say that I find this way of workingeven more interesting than ordinary rehearsals, as it allowed to better discover individual facets of each choir member, which is not always possible in traditional daily routine of amateur choirs.
However, the choir needs to sing together and sing for its audience. And even though it might be possible one day to achieve perfect technical synchronism of various digital tools, live performance can not be replaced. Particularly for so expressive concert choir as “Blagovest”, performing so deeply emotional orthodox church music.
Currently, it has been announced by the Government that the emergency state will end on 9th June, and amateur choirs will be allowed to resume their activities (professional choirs were allowed to do so already in mid-May) while observing strict distancing (3 metres from each other) and sanitary rules. But we still donot know when we will be able to start our rehearsals face to faceall together. And we do not know when we will be able to perform our anniversary concert.
This in short is our story, and we are looking forward to hearing stories of others.
Meanwhile I hope that you are doing fine and wish you all the success in your endeavours ! “