The first sound you hear in Copenhagen isn't anything so pretty as one of the 38 choirs from around the globe who've flown here to sing at the World Choral Symposium. It's the sea gulls. This is my first trip to Denmark and I should've studied a map or history book beforehand to grasp the whole port thing that's been Copenhagen's stock in trade for, oh, a good fifteen hundred years. But the gulls got me up to speed on that well before dawn this morning.
Sunrise and there's water everywhere, bridges everywhere. To take in the Symposium concerts you step onto a Copenhagen 'water bus' that picks you up on one side of a quarter-mile-wide canal and minutes later drops you off on the other at an enormous concrete veranda. The Opera House soars right in front of you. You open the door and, in this city of water and metaphors, you cross a footbridge to enter the actual auditorium. It's a neat symbolic move: leave the everyday to enter this dark room where magic might happen.
Three thousand people have come here from Asia, the Americas, Australia, and virtually every European country hoping for that very moment of magic, that little shiver at the back of the neck a great choir can produce.
Here's one on the very first day that got me.
The University of Johannesburg Choir. Forty college students who stormed the stage with Zulu drums, robes, and face paint and turned it into a choral aerobics studio. At the end of their set, with everyone onstage and in the audience exhausted, they stepped to the front lip and sang this quiet Zulu hymn. Magic.
By the way...Brian is not just a fine radio colleague, he's quite a singer himself. A former soloist with the Dale Warland Singers, and...I've seen the fire in Brian's eyes when he talks about choral music. It will be a treat to have Brian's live reports from the Symposium in Copenhagen, Tuesday and Friday on Performance Today.
So glad I finally found this!
I had a driveway moment, listening to this choir and I went nuts trying to find this performance on the web when I finally did get inside. I've got to share this with my girlfriend and family!
Thanks so much! Amazing music!
Posted by Damany | July 23, 2008 9:29 AM
Damany, what is the URL for the 2008 World Choral Symposium? i would love to hear the music.
Posted by susie | July 24, 2008 8:42 PM