Please tell us about the German-Latvian choir „AnimaDelicata“.
How did this project originate?
In 2010 our male choir DelicaTon organized the international choral festival “Heart of Europe” in Gelnhausen, Germany. Here we got to know and appreciated the female singers of ANIMA SOLLA from Latvia and its conductor Marite Purina. Their soulfoul and top-level singing skills inspired us and all festival visitors. One year later we invited ANIMA SOLLA to meet again in Germany. This time DelicaTon, who was “only” the organizer of “Heart of Europe” before, was able to contribute musically to an intensive rehearsal and concert weekend. We united to form the mixed choir ANIMA DELICATA and prepared a small mutual repertoire. This was a great and formative musical experience for everybody, as it’s special about ANIMA DELICATA that the choir consists of male and female singers from two nations and we could impressively experience that music is really a language being understood everywhere. Also there’s an outstanding distribution: The choir has roughly 25 male voices and 10 female voices. Usually propositions are inverse and Marite Purina and I enjoy to “pick from this embarrassment of riches”… By all means a musical and personal friendship has developed between ANIMA SOLLA and DelicaTon – and when we learned that the World Choir Games will come to Riga this year, it became clear very soon that we’d like to present our cross-country music-making on the competition stage and add another highlight to our project.
How do you prepare for the competition as a Latvian-German choir?
The agreement on the repertoire happened last year through e-mails between Marite Purina, my assistant Volker Bernhart and me. Also we wanted to let one peace be composed exclusively for our choir to be performed at the World Choir Games. Generously the Latvian composer Ugis Praulins wrote a piece for us that we enjoy singing since the first rehearsals. Each choir rehearses the four competition pieces by itself first. We use the possibilities of the internet and send each other recordings from the rehearsals to reach a coherent line regarding tempo, pronunciation, reading etc. Especially the linguistic details are a challenge – for example, bright vowels have different ranges and need to be adjusted. In May the ANIMA SOLLA singers will come to us in Germany and we will assemble what we learned in a rehearsal workshop. We will clarify the last details for the competition performance then. In Riga we will also use the days before the competition for intensive rehearsals to work on the finishing touch for our program.
Which song of a famous artist is the best to describe Anima Delicata?
What a great question! I asked my singers during the last rehearsal and they came up with some fun answers: „Let it be“ (Beatles), „Girls just wanna have fun“ (Cindy Lauper) or „Bleib bei uns“ (Rheinberger). I decide for the piece which Ugis Praulins composed for us: „Adsit virtus spiritus sancti“– and especially its line „Open my heart!“.
What are you especially looking forward to at the World Choir Games 2014?
I think the most important thing at each international choir competition is to meet and to have the possibility to learn from other choirs and get inspiration for the own work. That’s what I’m looking forward to; and, of course, to stay in front of an excellent choir and to conduct great choral literature.