Carmina Slovenica

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Carmina Slovenica

Carmina Slovenica is a production house covering a variety of activities: production of concerts and stage projects, festivals, publishing and education programs.

… breathtaking and equally relevant multimedia suite…A Sonically Thrilling, Disquieting Premiere For Karmina Silec’s Toxic Psalms…
New York Music Daily

References

Carmina Slovenica has given a great effect to the Slovene and the world cultural space with its several important projects. Among those, let us single out some of them:

  • Toxic Psalms (presented at Prototype:Opera/Theatre/Now New York, Operadagen Rotterdam) 

  • When the mountain changed its clothing, Heiner Goebbels Music Theatre (Golden Mask Award; presented at Ruhrtriennale, Steireisher Herbst, Autumn de Paris, Holland Festival, Melbourne Festival, Maribor Theatre Festival etc.);
  • Vampirabile (the Prešeren Fund Award; presented at ISCM – World Music Days, America Cantat, Venezuela, Musical links, Sweden, International Festival Beijing, Hongkong Cultural Centre etc.);
  • Placebo or Is There One who Would not Weep (presented at Maribor – European capital of culture 2012: Terminal 12);
  • Rusalki (presented at St. Petersburg Philharmonie, Schauspiel Haus Basel, Istanbul Korfest, Urban fest Serbia etc.);
  • CS Light (presented at Esplanade Cultural Centre, Singapur, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, University Theatre San Francisco etc.);
  • Slovenian Sounds (Ford Heritage Association Award; presented at Moscow Easter Festival, Auditorium Culture Centre Rome, Nuit de Choer Brussels, Dresden Musikfestspiele, Polyfollia, Osaka Symphony Hall, Teatro Colon, at the Prešeren Fund Award ceremony etc.);
  • Scivias (EBU Commission; presented at Teatro Cine Mendoza Argentine, Wratislavia Cantans etc.);
  • L. Lebič: From Time Immemorial ... (ITI Music Theatre Now Award; presented at Opera and Ballet Slovene National Theatre Maribor).
     

Selection of the quotes from the media:

Opera New Magazine: … a constant stream of ideas, voice, movement, impressions and dosed emotion. In audience, you cannot do much more than almost breathless look and marvel at so much quality … Theater spectacle … a theater which aims for perfection in any discipline …

Theater Mania: … the grandiosity of the staging rivals what one might see at the Met … an overwhelming aural and visual experience … Šilec presents her arcana with a heavy dose of beauty and wonder …

The New York Times: … vibrantly theatrical, genre-blurring, unusual in its techniques, eclectic in its musical style and politically charged … Ms. Šilec is savvy about maintaining dramatic momentum, and the performers execute every shift in tone with subtlety and agility ... striking new work by the rabidly talented Carmina Slovenica … the ensemble and its director, Karmina Šilec, have created haunting images … Toxic Psalms adds a savage yet polished theatricality to the mix as well as an ambiguity all too rare in American performance … all add up to an evening that’s bracing yet, perversely enough, enchanting …

Opera World: … Carmina Slovenica is the musical answer to Bausch's groundbreaking concept of Tantztheater …

New York Music Daily: … breathtaking and equally relevant multimedia suite ... Šilec’s direction toyed with crowd dynamics on both the conformist and nonconformist sides with a coldly sardonic humor that offered momentary respite from the lingering bleakness of the music … a sonically thrilling, disquieting premiere for Karmina Šilec’s Toxic Psalms …

The Wall Street Journal: … power of the performers … haunting theatrical moments …

Le Monde: ... they radiate fantastic energy, composure and professionalism on stage ... they can do anything... with that marvelous energy, composure and professionalism...

New York Observer: … strikingly staged by Karmina Silec… visually the show was elegantly spare … Carmina Slovenica are collectively and individually heroic, they sent their voices pealing out like a band of angels …

Agence France Press: … innovative theater company Carmina Slovenica … intellectually challenging …

San Francisco Classical Voice: …Carmina Slovenica are in your face, created by women, driven by women, not afraid to show their teeth or shout down injustice … pure talent and virtuosity is astounding … the languages, time periods, and cultures blurred into visceral emotion and reaction ...

The Telegraph: … Carmina Slovenica gained a world-wide reputation for their powers of story-telling through choral songs … joyous moments of collective energy or anarchy that these astonishing performers shone, and the piece itself really came alive …

Basellandshaftlische Zeitung: … Karmina Šilec’s choral opera Fauvel is a really interesting, multilayered and a very aesthetic work ... captivating beauty ... veritable Theaterspektakel with immense beautiful images ... like a bulky work of art in a museum that refreshes, encourages us to think, distresses and embraces at the same time. And that is the reason why it continuously invites the viewer to new observations – if one only allows it ...

Delo: ... gesture, facial expression, choreography and the dynamics of the performers are mainly in the service of graduating suggestiveness, the images and stage tableaux are never self-sufficient; they are dosed with precision, without causing distraction or offering misleading emphasis of the substance; there is always and only music in the forefront. And how extremely diverse and heterogeneous it is; an exceptional sense of combining what appears to be incompatible, culminating into a surprisingly homogenous totality in the end - yet another quality of the director ...

Theatre review Melbourne: ... the world renowned ‘Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica’… the theatrics and the beauty of music and glamour of vocals …

Neue Musikzeitung: ... professional precision that leaves one speechless. From choral singing, through crystal clear choral speaking, to simple stage movement – individual, in groups, as a whole, with or without props … and that is of course where the similarity to Heiner Goebbels’s understanding of theatre can be found …

Večer: … precision, elegance and suggestive power, incredible sensibility with the right measure of how musical and scenic elements are incorporated into a convincing corpus … creates a mystical atmosphere without mystifying, reaches a hallowed status without allegory; the demanding repertoire chosen without artistic hermetism, dramatic effect reached without being pathetic, set and costume design perfected without pompousness or even exhibitionism …

Paarol: ... Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica like laser beams through the soul … You have to hear and see it to be able to believe it ...

Opera News/Opera Guild: … terpsichorean radicalism that were still often as physical as they were musical…wonderful cohesion… aural equivalent of Bausch’s Tanztheater, if you could imagine her medium-challenging dancers also singing…

Biography

Carmina Slovenica is one of the leading vocal institutions.

Carmina Slovenica, one of the world's leading vocal institutions, is world renowned for its unconventional, progressive and innovative artistic concept of superb singing, drama, and movement.

Carmina Slovenica's unique choregie concept of music theatre projects with adventurous juxtaposition of music from medieval to the present times with fascinating sounds of extended vocal techniques is led by the internationally acclaimed conductor and director Karmina Šilec. With her boldness, provocativeness and erudition that bears no comparison Karmina Šilec transformed this vocal ensemble into a superior artistic formation of the highest rank. The performances of the ensemble are well-known for the precise vocal discipline, exuberant physicality, energy, musical and scenic imagination, authenticity and artistic persuasiveness.

Carmina Slovenica completely revaluated the existing concepts of vocal music and opened up new spaces of expression. It creates a highly theatrical and visceral experience through vocal music that is both unexpected and provocative. What is particularly fascinating is the sound itself being delivered by the performers with changes of various vocal techniques from throat singing to cultivated belcanto. The result is a unique musical experience.

Carmina Slovenica is noted for its innovative programming which explores works from the forefronts of the contemporary music scene.
The ensemble has performed on stages worldwide – from Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, Grand St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Esplanade Singapore, Teresa Carreño Theatre Caracas, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, RadialSystem Berlin, San Francisco Symphony Hall to Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Jahrhuderthalle Bochum, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Auditorium Rome.

Carmina Slovenica has been invited to art events of the highest esteem such as the World Music Days (organized by the ISCM), Prototype Festival New York, Festival d’Automne á Paris, Moscow Easter Festival, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, Ruhrtriennale, the European Symposium on Choral Music (organized by the IFCM), Steirischer Herbst, Holland Festival, Polyfollia, America Cantat, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussels, Europa Cantat, Nuit de Choer Brusseless, KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen, Lublin Theatre Confrontation Festival, Melbourne Festival, International Festival Beijing, Choir Olympics etc.

The main aim of the ensemble and its artistic director is a continual search for new music and new fields of work which has already shown results in a wide repertoire it has today; from early and ethnic vocal music to the latest avant-garde. Carmina Slovenica with its characteristic sound and wide-ranged virtuosity is the ideal ensemble for different repertoires − from a cappella music of all genres to vocal instrumental projects.

Concert tours in almost all countries of Europe, the USA, Canada, Africa, Central and South America, Japan, Malaysia, Australia and China, many top awards at international choral competitions, participation in various international projects, recordings made for many radio and television stations, 19 CDs, 3 DVDs and 1 LP produced, excellent reviews of the ensemble's performances by musical experts and critics ... all these achievements speak for themselves and confirm the ensemble‘s remarkable reputation.

Carmina Slovenica was awarded by more than 100 awards and recognitions at home and abroad, among them with prestigious theater award Golden Mask, the Prešern Found Award, Ford Award for preservation of natural and cultural heritage, absolute first place with 100% points at International competition Kalundborg at Denmark, with most outstanding choir of competition "Kathaumixw 94", and many others. Carmina Slovenica performs with an artistry that inspires audiences and critics alike and stands as a role model in the international choir movement.

Choregie projects Toxic Psalms, Fortuna Won't Be Fauvel's Match!, Placebo, Vampirabile, Rusalke, Toxic Psalms, From time immemorial, Scivias, When the mountain changed its clothing, CS Light, Adiemus, and many others have been received with high praise.

World's media about us

… one hopes CS will become a regular visitor to New York… 

The New York Times 

 … Certainly, the grandiosity of the staging rivals what one might see at the Met… 

Theatre Mania

… breathtaking and equally relevant multimedia suite… 

New York Music Daily 

… Carmina Slovenica (under conductor Karmina Šilec) is a phenomenon in itself …

Financial Times

… Carmina Slovenica has gained a world-wide reputation with the powers of story-telling through choral song …

The Telegraph

... They radiate fantastic energy ... and professionalism on stage ...

Le Monde

… Musical partner that can only search for an equal in Europe: Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica is the name of this fascinating choral formation from the Slovene Maribor …

Neue Musik Zeitung

… masters of complex rhythms, fine tuning in both tonal and dissonant repertoire, extended vocal techniques, dynamic variety, dance and gesture, and expressive communication …

San Francisco Classical Voice

Slovene media about us

... Carmina Slovenica from Maribor and its conductor Karmina Šilec know no interpretative boarders, no borders for ideas, compositions and themes …

Marjan Zlobec, Delo

… Carmina Slovenica singing is always hosanna to the one and only god  to the god of the purest art.

Jože Štucin, Primorske novice

 … Carmina Slovenica choir was again almost painfully perfect. Girls can do practically everything: technical infallibility, the changing of colour and expression, the adjusting of interpretation …

Gregor Pompe, Dnevnik

… their performance is best described as virtuosic: flawless intonation, crisp sound, brilliant, with refined movement (harmonious, resembling dance perfectionism in concluding moments), free-flowing, almost auto hypnotic – defined by an energy flow of an utterly disciplined and ambitious team …

Jure Dobovišek, Delo

… A perfect blend of voices, correct singing techniques (breathing), the ability of dynamic shading in the spectral sound arch that totally fills up the big concert hall and impregnates it with human voices; a detailed study of a really demanding and difficult programme, performed by heart, the self-confidence, deliberation, dedication and hope of a generation to come. What more would you like from these young girls!?

Marjan Zlobec, Delo

Expert opinions

… The Slovene choir's place is on world stages between Berlin and San Francisco …
… I am deeply impressed and thrilled. Your conducting is much more than a first class aesthetic experience – it is an interpretation of life.

Paul Wehrle, Germany

… Carmina Slovenica is a choir which can be an example to all. It chose an original repertoire, it is creative, but it is mostly distinguished by its disciplinary work and professionalism. I congratulate Carmina Slovenica for an excellent performance at this festival, and I congratulate to Slovenia for having such a choir.

Maria Guinand, Venezuela

... a pure pleasure for me, due to their ability, ambition and excellent concentration. Bravo!
… In my opinion the Carmina Slovenica choir and their conductor are a real national treasure and Carmina Slovenica absolutely one of the best choirs in the international youth and children choral movement.
... and one of the true stars, performing  here and elsewhere in the world, is Carmina Slovenica choir. Among children and youth choirs of the world, this choir is the one the most beautiful.

Erkki Pohjola, Finland

… I am such a fan of your creative and honest way of presenting choral music - this brings fresh dimension to the art. I love the sound quality that you get out of your groups!

André van der Merwe, Republic of South Africa

All members of the jury share the same opinion that the performance of Carmina Slovenica was the best we have ever heard on choral competitions …

Steen Lindholm, Denmark

... Congratulations! Your Vampirabile programme has scored a great success!

Veljo Tormis, Estonia

… To hear Paskutines Pagoniu Apeigos and other pieces performed by your choir was a very pleasant surprise. Scenic solutions were particularly interesting.

Bronius Kutavičius, Lithuania

… The production is so full of life and artistic skill! The singers are (as I knew from before) on the highest level vocally, but also in terms of interpretation and capacity of creating something new and never seen on stage. It is a true honour to be part of such a performance. Your visions for a new kind of music-theatre is very inspiring … you have caught a very striking form of visual and musical poetry that is unique.

Thomas Jennefelt, Sweden

… Looks great, sounds great, cool music - I love electro pop!

Heiner Goebbels, Germany

… Your latest project is a MONSTER!!  How I wish there were more choirs like yours.  I am so tired of the usual choir repertoire.
… Most impressed!
… I am honored to have been presented at such a prestigious event (ISCM, ed. n.). I often think about your stunning choir and the astounding recording you sent me. I have never seen a choir which would combine music and movement so well and I consider myself lucky that such a wonderful group is performing my music.
All the best - maybe our paths will cross again.
… Wow! That tape you sent is amazing! I've never heard anything like it. It was very primal - the energy went really, really deep. I often felt like I was watching rituals of another planet. Everything worked intensely human … Everything was very wild and very disciplined at the same time. I loved what you did with TJAK. I don’t know how you do it. Where do you get the time for the amount of rehearsals needed to achieve such level of performance?
Well, I'm astounded. Also very excited - the tape was thrilling.

Stephen Hatfield, Canada

Awards

Carmina Slovenica was awarded by more than 100 awards and recognitions at home and abroad, among them with prestigious theater award Golden Mask, the Prešern Found Award, Ford Award for preservation of natural and cultural heritage, absolute first place with 100% points at International competition Kalundborg at Denmark, with most outstanding choir of competition "Kathaumixw 94", and many others.

Cooperation with artists

such as:

Krzysztof Penderecki
Heiner Goebbels
Hartmut Haenchen
Japp Blonk
Istvan Horkay
Marko Letonja
Miguel Valinas
Jernej Lorenci
Klaus Grunberg
Bernhard Landauer
Đorđe Balašević
Meta Hočevar
Samo Hubad
Anton Nanut
Big Band and Slovenian Armed Forces Orchestra

...

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