The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Latvian mega choir echoes Baltic state's history
Singers perform during the XXVI Latvian Song and XVI Dance Celebration concert in Riga, Latvia, July 7, 2018. Ilmars Znotins / afp.


RIGA (AFP).- Over 16,000 people raised their voices in song in Latvia's capital Riga on Sunday, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Baltic state's independence at a festival that has been key to Latvian identity for over a century.

"After a week of rehearsals, we feel pretty exhausted," choir singer Aija Rijniece told AFP before going on stage dressed in a colourful folk costume, adding that the hours of preparation are "always worth it".

Over nine days, organisers estimate that the 26th edition of Latvian Song and Dance Festival has drawn up to 500,000 people to a massive forest amphitheatre in Riga.

"It's a unique experience for every concertgoer: not only does the sheer size of the performing crowd looks overwhelming, but also the artistic level is so high that it had exceeded our expectations," Aleksandrs Zeltins, who came to the festival from Germany with his wife Dina, told AFP.

On Saturday night, over 18,000 folk dancers thrilled a massive audience happy to miss the World Cup quarter-final between Russia and Croatia.

Over the last week around 43,000 performers, or just over two percent of Latvia's population, have taken part in the festival which drew around 1,000 folk choirs and dance troupes from across the EU and NATO country of 1.9 million people.

Taking place every five years, the festival began in 1873 as a rare opportunity for Latvians to use their own language in public under Tsarist Russian rule.

After the Bolshevik revolution brought down the Tsar, Latvia declared independence on November 18, 1918, but the freedom was short-lived.

Alongside Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia was reoccupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, seized by Nazi Germany in 1941 and again taken over by Moscow in 1944.

Unable to coerce Latvians into giving up the festival, Soviet authorities allowed it but added propaganda songs.

Latvian singers, however, had their own ideas and in 1985, they used the last verse of the popular "Castle of Light" folk song to call for independence and democracy.

It was not long in coming; in June 1988 the so-called "Singing Revolution" began in Estonia. Tens of thousands sang anti-Soviet anthems and it soon spread to Lithuania and Latvia.

Long-banned national songs and flags reappeared in the 1990 edition of the festival as the Soviet Union crumbled, restoring independence in the Baltic states.


© Agence France-Presse





Today's News

July 10, 2018

Researchers discover the oldest giant dinosaur species that inhabited the Earth

Major Bomberg exhibition opens at Ben Uri

Artist Felix Pène du Bois dies at age 61

Gladstone Gallery opens a group exhibition anchored by Vito Acconci's 'Voice of America'

Stan Lee drops $1bn lawsuit against company he started

Berry Campbell Gallery opens an exhibition of reprsented artists

The Cleveland Museum of Art opens 'Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors'

Marc Straus expands, upwards

Contemporary artists explore and expand on the qualities of metal

Passing the baton: Chinese conductors seek global fame

Martin Luther handwritten letter penned by the religious reformer to go under the hammer

Sohn Fine Art opens a camera-less photography exhibition

New York's most prestigious design fair returns November for its seventh edition

Son's tribute to his late father £120,000 restoration of their Rover 95 offered at H&H Classics

PAD London announces gallery line up for 2018 edition

Springfield Art Museum adds Little Rock, Arkansas watercolorist to permanent collection

Hazelhurst Arts Centre showcases the work of one of the most influential interior designers in Australia

Bonhams appoints Alexis Cronin Butler as Director of Florida

Colombian peace allows cultural jewels to re-emerge

Latvian mega choir echoes Baltic state's history

Chinese jade boosts Heritage Auctions' Asian Art Auction to nearly $2.2 million

Heritage World & Ancient Coins and World Currency Auctions reach $4.38 million

Festival takes music deep into Istanbul's centuries-old heritage

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- New photographic book explores the provocative works of Rodin, Schiele and Picasso

2.- Spanish sculptures get kitschy colours in another botched restoration

3.- Van Gogh was murdered claims new film at Venice

4.- Raging fire tears through Rio de Janeiro's treasured National Museum

5.- Musée national Picasso-Paris opens exhibition of masterpieces by Pablo Picasso

6.- National Gallery of Art opens major exhibition of Corot's paintings of women

7.- RYAN LEE opens Indigenous Woman, a solo exhibition by Martine Gutierrez

8.- Flowers Gallery appoints new Gallery Director Jennifer Francis to lead global operations

9.- Bavarian authorities return priceless eighth century gold Sican mask to Peru

10.- Detroit Institute of Arts receives monumental Ursula von Rydingsvard sculpture



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful