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European Choir Fest comes to Castleton

Friday, Jun. 24 | By Constance Lyons
Two European choral groups — Musicaficta from Italy and Koris Logo from Latvia — tour America for the first time, making their first stop at the Castleton Theatre House at 4 p.m., Saturday, June 25.
On Saturday, June 25 the beautiful Castleton Theater will showcase a program of choral music performed by two internationally acclaimed groups hailing from Europe.

Musicafesta from Italy and Koris Logo from Latvia will perform ancient orthodox sacred music, classical polyphony, and modern works by such diverse composers as Giovanni Pergolesi, Archangelski, Pablo Casals, and John Tavener. The concert mingles sounds of 16th century Renaissance with traditional folk songs.

“The incomparable acoustics of the theater house will be equally thrilling to both the singers and the audience. These songs were meant to be sung here, “ said Castleton CEO and Artistic Director Dietlinde Turban Maazel.
Musicaficta was founded in Rimini, Italy, in 2001 by Andrea Angelini, its present director, a choral music teacher and conductor as well as a highly respected journalist.

A group of eight male and female professional singers, the ensemble has performed in Italy and abroad, singing at all the important vocal festivals.

“The main purpose of the group is the exploration of the magical world of polyphonic sacred choir music with particular consideration for the Renaissance period,” said Angelini. “At Castleton, they will sing mostly sacred music, as well as contemporary pieces like ‘The Blue Bird,’ a poem by Mary Coleridge set to music by Charles Villiers Stanford.”

“We were delighted when Dietlinde invited us to sing at Castleton,” said Angelini. “Castelton is such an important artistic venue, we really want to support them.”

Koris Logo, an all-male chamber ensemble, was founded during the “Singing Revolution,” so named because of an uprising that led to the restoration of the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

On June 10 and 11, 1988, spontaneous mass night-singing demonstrations erupted at the Tallin Festival Grounds. The massive song festival, called "Song of Estonia," attracted nearly 300,000 people. Coincidentally, the event sparked a resurgence of interest in sacred choir music.

The ensemble’s conductor Ioanne Shenrock, who is also a priest, has given many performances in Latvia, Russia, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe, receiving enthusiastic recognition and honors at international festivals and competitions.

The ensemble will sing ancient and contemporary Orthodox compositions, as well as a few Latvian folk songs.

Although Castleton has suspended its summer season, the monthly “Castleton in Performance” events will continue throughout the year, as will its educational outreach program.

The late Lorin Maazel, who founded Castleton, was dedicated to promoting the arts in the lives of school children through in-school arts studies.

For those who want to expand the musical experience into a weekend getaway, there are many bed-and-breakfast establishments nearby (see the Castleton website for a comprehensive listing).

During the off season there are also rooms available on the grounds. Cottage and home rates range from $100 to $650 a night, and include access to enticing amenities: the spa (large heated lap pool, Turkish steam room, Finnish sauna), bowling alley, petting zoo, six miles of hiking trails and tennis courts. To inquire about booking, please contact Connie Payne at 540.577.8820 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The theater house is located at 664 Castleton View Road Castleton, Va. Ticket prices range from $20 to $40.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to http://www.castletonfestival.org or call (540) 937-3454.

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