A Capella Cubed – under this banner the don camillo choir joined forces with Jazzchor Miesbach und Greg is Back to delight audiences in Augsburg, München, und Schliersee. Each choir having achieved 24 out of 25 points in the contest’s Jazz Vocal A Capella category to tie for first place, they decided to combine three short programs to create these communal concerts, showcasing the breadth and excellence of their musical accomplishments for the public. And after three hours packed full of musical delights, the three choirs topped it off with a joint performance of the contest’s compulsory number „Good day sunshine“.
Mai 26th and 28th, 2012:
Jazz-Requiem for choir and big band by Steve Gray
An extraordinary version of the latin requiem mass was written by the english composer Steve Gray as a Jazz-requiem for big band and choir. Specially for the international Festival „Musica Sacra“ this so far rarely performed piece of music, was prepared by the don camillo chor, together with the via-nova-chor and the Landes-Jugendjazzorchester Bayern (youth jazz big band of Bavaria) under the conduct of Florian Helgath. The combination of wild big-band-outbursts and contemplative choir-moments opened exciting new horizons for the participants and the audience in Kempten and Isny. Every two years over Whitsun Weekend musicians from all over the world come to Marktoberdorf, to present spiritual music of the five major world religions. This time participating choirs and ensembles came for example from Argentina, Sweden, Kongo, Armenia, Russia, Great Britain, Israel, Iran, India and Mongolia.
Two choirs ended up with equal points score at the German Choir Contest 2012 in Dortmund: the „A Cappella Vocal Ensemble Voice It“ from Dresden and the „don camillo chor“. On the spur of the moment, the two prize-winners decided, to perform concerts together in Munich and Dresden. After the visit of „Voice it“ to the Bavarian capital on a weekend in May 2011, the vocalists of the don camillo chor traveled to Sachsen at the end of June.
After an intoxicating concert with the big band „Isle of Swing“ in the year before, once more the don camillo chor presented his jazz- and swing-pieces, arranged for choir and band – together with the brilliant musicians of the Munich jazzband FOURsprung. For the event the concert hall of the Musikhochschule (Acadamy of Music) was chosen – on of the big concert halls of Munich. Over 500 spectators were swept away by the fantastic acoustics. A breathtaking experience, also for the choir!
June 25th – 30th, 2010:
Concert tour to Krakau and to the choir festival in Pjotrków Trybunalski (Poland)
The journey to Poland probably made a lasting impression on every single singer of the choir: an enthusiastic audience, an overwhelming hospitality and an altogether fantastic atmosphere made this a very special experience, not only at the festival in Radomsko, but also at the concerts in Pjotrków Trybunalski and Cracow. The emotional highlight at every single appearance during the trip, was the „Hallelujah“ bei Leonard Cohen, which the Polish audience used to sing along, deeply moved. Unforgettable also the festival-audience in Radomsko, which strictly followed the instruction of some football enthusiasts in the choir, to not blab the current status of the FIFA World Cup game Germany vs. England, which took place at the same time of the concert – after all, the choir intended to watch the recording of the game (with the historic final score of 4:1) later on in the hotel
The don camillo chor on the radio for the first time! The BR invited the choir to sing at the „Lange Nacht der Musik“ (long night of music) within the broadcasting programme of BR-Klassik „U21“. On stage at the BMW pavilion, the ensemble presented itself to the numerous visitors and fans, and simultaneously the listeners of BR-Klassik were able to enjoy the extraordinary performance.
April 24th and 25th, 2010:
„Let’s get loud!“: concert tour with the jazz big band „Isle of Swing“ from Regensburg
„Here you have to sound like a saxophon in a big band“ - Florian likes to use such inner images to induce his singers of the don camillo chor to produce a certain sound. Finally the choir was tired of these images and sought the direct comparison: they needed real saxophones! In spring 2010 the time had come: together with the jazz big band „Isle of Swing“ from Regensburg the choir traced the spirit of Count Basie and other well-known jazz greats – true to the motto „It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing“. Already during rehearsals everyone was literally swept off his feet by the sound – and the concert title was born: „Let’s get loud!“. The audience in the Münchner Freiheizhalle in Munich and the jazzclub „Leerer Beutel“ in Regensburg definitely got their money’s worth and had to admit: real saxophones do sound just a little more smooth.
After their opera debut with „Juditha Triumphans“ in 2006, two years later another opera production was on the itinerary: „Cosí fan tutte“ by W.A. Mozart together with the Opera Nymphenburg. Jörg Bierhance was in charge of the musical direction and it was directed by Matthias Endlicher, who is today at the Bayerische Staatsoper (bavarian state opera). The good atmosphere in the team ensured, that already quite entertaining rehearsals and that the whole project should be an unforgettable experience for all participants. Videos of one of the performances can be seen here.
Is the don camillo chor able to „do opera“? Yes he can, and it’s even fun! With the performance of the opera „Juditha Triumphans“ (directed by Sarah Schley) at the theatre in the Haus der Kunst together with the Orchester Jakobsplatz (musical direction: Daniel Grossmann), the choir made his opera debut. This ment not only singing but also acting: with knight’s costumes of the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel (Bavarian State Theatre) and disguised as Assyrians, they entered the stage with lances and spears. The particular challenge was one choir part, which had to be performed backstage. The conductor could only be seen on screens and the choir had to sing simultaneously with the orchestra – a good practice for timing.
The maybe most spectacular appearance ever, the don camillo chor had in the context of a promotional event „A-motion Tour“ by Mercedes: to present the new A-class, the car manufacturer had engaged the Catalan performance-act La Fura dels Baus. During a large theatre production on the Theresienwiese in Munich, portraying the four elements water, wind, earth and fire, the vocalists of the don camillo chor, dressed in white overalls and placed inside a small glass cage, were supposed to make slightly strange sounds, which were transmitted by loudspeakers on the outside. It had almost come to an early end of the choir’s performance, because the head protection of one of the singers, 2 metres tall, caught fire – but it ended without any injuries. The act was performed in 21 european cities between mai and octobre 1997, but don camillo chor was only participating in Munich. A video of Fura dels Baus gives an impression (although with a different choir).