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Open to the World

Open to the World

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius with Ola Gjeilo & Sofia Vokalensemble. Together.
2018 May 19, Saturday, 19.00
Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall, Vilnius
OLA GJEILO (composer, pianist; USA, Norway)
Choras BEL CANTO (Lithuania), Artistic director Dr. Egidijus Kaveckas
Choras SOFIA VOKALENSEMBLE (Sweden), Artistic director Bengt Ollén
ANDRIUS GAILIŪNAS (acoustic guitar)
Open to the World

A special night in Vilnius. Bel Canto Choir Vilnius takes the stage with Ola Gjeilo, one of the world’s most popular contemporary composers, and Sofia Vokalensemble, one of Sweden’s best choirs! Together.

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius, world-renowned composer Ola Gjeilo, and top Swedish choir, Sofia Vokalensemble, present the second concert of the Open to the World concert series. At 7 PM on Saturday, May 19, 2018, Ola Gjeilo and more than 80 singers from Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and Sofia Vokalensemble will meet for the first time for an exceptional musical project in Vilnius.

The second concert of the Open to the World series will be dedicated to the music of composer Ola Gjeilo. The concert will feature the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra (artistic director Sergej Krylov), soprano Gunta Gelgotė, other musicians, and Ola Gjeilo himself playing the piano. 

After 3 years of friendship, Ola Gjeilo finally visits Bel Canto Choir Vilnius

Norwegian-born Ola Gjeilo is one of the world’s most popular composers of contemporary choral music. Characterized by rich harmonies and textures, Gjeilo’s pieces are known for their lush and cinematic sound. A student of classical composition at The Juilliard School (NYC) and the Royal College of Music (London), Ola Gjeilo now resides in his adopted country of US, which has greatly influenced his contemporary, yet remarkably familiar style. 

Special guests – Bel Canto Choir Vilnius’s friends from Sofia Vokalensemble

Sofia Vokalensemble is one of Sweden’s best mixed choirs with a captivating stage presence and a warm, lyrical Swedish choral sound. The choir was founded in 1995 by Bengt Ollén, who serves as its conductor to this day. Mr. Ollén’s goal is to move listeners by creating music “beyond the notes”. Therefore, the choir focuses on the art of vocal performance and creates a delicate and elegant sound. Sofia Vokalensemble was awarded the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in 2012 and has received numerous other international awards. 

The concert’s centerpieces – cinematically inspired Dreamweaver and Sunrise Mass

The centerpiece of the second Open to the World concert is Ola Gjeilo’s renowned Sunrise Mass for chorus and string orchestra. This exceptionally light and moving piece conveys the composer’s modern and original take on the centuries-old tradition of sacred music.

Ola Gjeilo notes that he wanted to present the traditional Latin text in a new way – the Sunrise Mass turns a remarkably bright, spacious, almost cosmic sound into one more worldly and rugged, while feelings of lightness are replaced by much more dramatic emotions. The composer even gave new names to the traditional prayers: The Spheres (Kyrie), Sunrise (Gloria), The City (Credo), Identity & The Ground (Sanctus / Benedictus and Agnus Dei).

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius was the first to present the Sunrise Mass to the Lithuanian audiences back in 2014. This time, the piece will be performed by more than 80 choristers – singers from Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and Sofia Vokalensemble together. 

Ola Gjeilo’s Dreamweaver, composed for chorus, piano, and string orchestra, is another centerpiece of the concert. Dreamweaver’s lyrics were based on Draumkvedet, a well-known Norwegian epic poem, which has quite a lot in common with Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius premiered Dreamweaver during their 2017 Christmas concert at St Catherine’s Church and the piece was especially well received by the public. This time, the choir will recount the dream weaver’s journey through the afterlife together with the full Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra on the stage of the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society.


Sofia Vokalensemble — conductor and artistic director: Bengt Ollén. Bel Canto Choir Vilnius — conductor and artistic director: Dr. Egidijus Kaveckas, second conductor and choirmaster, Milda Zapolskaitė, choirmaster and concert master: Raminta Gocentienė, vocal coach: Liudas Norvaišas. 

Producers: Ola Gjeilo, Audrius Valatkevičius (Bel Canto Choir Vilnius) and Tomas Icikzonas (Sofia Vokalensemble). 


Open to the World is a 5-concert series by Bel Canto Choir Vilnius, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania’s independence. During the Open to the World Series, Bel Canto will perform together with two of the world’s most popular contemporary composers, Eric Whitacre (USA) and Ola Gjeilo (USA/Norway), two of Sweden’s best choirs Svanholm Singers and Sofia Vokalensemble, elite vocal ensemble VOCES8 (UK), and fantastic Swiss choir Männerstimmen Basel. 

The aim of the project is to present the world’s best to Lithuanian audiences, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, to be, create, innovate, learn and improve. Together.

The Patron of the project is NEWSEC, the leading property consultancy in the Nordic and Baltic region; Sponsors – Lithuania’s leading construction company MITNIJA and insurance company SEESAM. The project is co-financed by Lithuanian Council for Culture. Media partners – LRT, the Lithuanian public broadcaster, and the country’s leading news website DELFI. Advertising partner – advertising agency OGILVY.

For more information, please visit:


Ticket prices
16,2; 21,2; 26,2; 31,2; 36,2 Eur

Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society

Address: Aušros vartų st. 5, LT-01304 Vilnius, Lietuva
Contact: tel. +370 5 266 52 10, fax. +370 5 266 52 66

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