A few days ago in Italy finished the third edition of the choral contest "Chorus Inside Summer". This international festival takes place in the medieval town of Chieti in the Abruzzo region. The competition program included also Bulgaria’s Representative Academic Choir of the Theological Faculty at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski ", conducted by Elitsa Hristova and Georgi Popov. A gold medal and a special award – these are the distinctions that the singers brought back home.
Although with a relatively short history, "Chorus Inside" is already among the prestigious choral competitions in Europe. For three consecutive years, the picturesque town of Chieti in central Italy, just miles from the Adriatic coast, welcomes thousands of singers competing in different categories. The groups show their skills on stage in the 19th century theater Maruccino, with the jury being traditionally composed of prominent musicians from Italy and the world. This year, among them is also the Bulgarian soprano Tanya Shivarova – opera singer with a remarkable international career.
Composer Georgi Popov said for RB:
"The contest is held in four categories – traditional, religious, folk and pop choral music. The final section presents songs from musicals and evergreens arranged for choir. Most numerous and very good were the groups performing religious music. Choir "Polhimnos" from Italy, a wonderful group from Sardinia, "Elegy" from Russia, "Gloria" from Ukraine and others. In addition to the gold medal, we're back with a special prize. At the award ceremony, the Festival President announced that a new distinction was established for composer of choral music. With great excitement I heard that the first winner is me."
The special prize was awarded to Georgi Popov for his religious works that he has created for years for the choir. They are performed at church services and on the concert stage. Georgi Popov received music classical training but in recent years has been devoted to writing music only for liturgical practice.
As Mr. Popov also said, there is a growing interest to Orthodox music in Bulgaria. “I can not speak about secular groups who perform Orthodox chants, because I have no observations. But church choirs are definitely on a very good professional level”, he continues.
Georgi Popov and Elitsa Hristova, the choir conductor and professor in church music at the Theological Faculty, are the founders and organizers of the International Festival of Orthodox Music in Pomorie, whose 9th edition ended a few days ago. This is one of the most important choral events in Bulgaria Orthodox music, which annually draws a huge number of choirs.
On its way to Italy, the choir gave a concert in a town near Zagreb, Croatia, where the singers and their conductors had a meeting with representatives of the Eastern Rite church. The final concert of the festival “Chorus Inside Summer” took place in the Pantheon in Rome, and the next day the choir took part in a festive liturgy on the Sunday of all Bulgarian Saints in the Bulgarian church in Rome.
English version Rossitsa Petcova