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"From Torino with love"

It is now 16:45, Saturday 28th July. The Piazza Castello, the very heart of the city of Torino, slowly begins to fill up. People gather in small groups: almost everywhere you can see patches of magenta shirts and colourful foulards. In less than an hour a choir of 4,000 voices will sing “Signum”, the canon by Thomas Tallis, officially launching the Festival EUROPA CANTAT XVIII.

 

A shiver runs amongst the organisers: this festival has really started and nothing compares to the excitement of being part of the event, to be “a voice in the choir”, to have helped its development.

 

Smiles, faces, voices... there is a definite mood of “festa”, curiosity and enthusiasm for a choral adventure that will remain in the hearts of many.

 

The Festival EUROPA CANTAT XVIII Torino 2012 was a record edition from many points of view. But perhaps the “not-so-secret ingredient” of this success was Italy itself, the promised land of artistic beauties and good living, and that promise attracted choirs from all over the world.

 The organisational machine of the Festival EUROPA CANTAT once again highlighted that Europe is rich of great artistic and professional excellences, and the city of Torino did the rest with the innate elegance of its XIX century urban landscape, its museums, its historic cafés, and showed off for this occasion an unusually Mediterranean character, allowing all foreign participants to breathe an especially warm and communicative atmosphere. All along ten days of coexistence, the city dwellers greeted with rare curiosity and a genuine sense of hospitality the “magenta people”, sharing the exceptional interest in the many and various concerts; a welcome - and sometimes surprising - gift.

 “Going from the place where my atelier is held to the place of a concert, I find myself surrounded by beauty, every single day” an enthusiastic participant confesses, thus confirming that getting lost in Torino could also be transformed in an opportunity to explore a city rich in history and artistic charm.

 

The nature and spirit of EUROPA CANTAT could be depicted by a lot of “snapshots”. One of these is certainly the Open Singing time: the participants, but also the local people coming from Torino, will for sure keep in their heart these magic moments during which many different cultures have merged into a single choir, into a single voice. Every evening in Piazza San Carlo, thousands of people were gathering to sing a new piece, chosen amongst the classical, popular or traditional repertoires of the different countries represented at the festival. The Coro Accademia Feniarco led the Open Singing, under the careful conducting of the Swiss maestro Michael Gohl.

 If we are to believe the testimonies of the participants themselves, the Festival EUROPA CANTAT Torino was a joyful meeting of people from all over Europe, with a common language, a unique way to talk and understand each other, in all and for all: voice, music, singing!

 As proof of this, Cristina Vicente, a Spanish girl, surprised and somehow reassured says: “What a thrill to see that the whole world sings just like me!”. And, from The Netherlands, Pauline Solleveld seems to agree: “The atmosphere in Torino is great: it doesn’t matter where you’re from, you all share the same interests and passion. You make new friends in very short time. Many thanks to the organisation and volunteers!!!”.

 The participating choirs also expressed themselves in a positive way for the great communication tool that music is: the ability to speak and understand the musical terms, even if you do not speak the same language, and the fact that a choir can sing in order to communicate something to the others, was a real useful and unforgettable discovery.

 Finally, here are the heart-warming words of the manager of a female youth choir: “I just want to thank you for the magic which was the EUROPA CANTAT in Torino! It was an unbelievable experience: the venues, the sights, the ateliers, the concerts, the excitement, the thrills, the joy of making and hearing music all the time. Our girls loved every second... You, with your organisation, have changed the lives of our choir members - and I am sure, of many others as well”.

 

Voice... is the only way to express oneself and to understand each other. The Festival EUROPA CANTAT was another illustration of this. The Festival was the largest event within the project VOICE. But if this European project ends in 2015, its idea, its essence will continue to live for a long time, in the hearts and in the memories of those who were there in Torino and personally experienced the power of voice…

 

Always ready TO sing!

 

 Michela Francescutto

 

 Feniarco

Monica -Italy - EUROPA CANTAT 2012

This experience provided me with larger horizon, larger views. We all are constructing the European Culture. This experience has been excellent.

Engelien – Holland - EUROPA CANTAT 2012

I am more aware that we do have to make our own Europe. Europe isn't only about money and Brussels, it is about people. It is about you and me, no matter where you live in Europe. We have to connect.

Michèle – France - EUROPA CANTAT 2012

I saw a lot of young and talented choruses, which gave a very optimistic vision of Europe. I am not sure singing will help Europe to overcome the financial crisis, but at least it can help facing it!

Peter - Belgium - EUROPA CANTAT 2012

It strengthens the idea of better intercultural understanding and of sharing cultural expression. It 's a wonderful antidote against hatred and war.

Anonymous - EUROPA CANTAT 2012

It reinforced the strong belief I have that Europe is my real country.

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