Slovak Philharmonic Choir performed at BBC PROMS festival

After 13 years, the choir of the Slovak Philharmonic sang, together with another choir, at the oldest and biggest classical music festival.

Slovak Philharmonic Choir (SFZ) at BBC PromsSlovak Philharmonic Choir (SFZ) at BBC Proms (Source: Courtesy of SF)

The Slovak Philharmonic Choir (SFZ), through its 75 members, was part of the rare concert staging of the opera Khovanshchina by Modest P. Mussorgsky (in the version of Dmitry Shostakovich) on August 6.

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SFZ first got in touch with this work in 1989 when it rehearsed the 5 act opera – almost finished by the time of Mussorgsky’s death – for the Vienna State Opera, as conducted by Claudio Abbado. The opera house staged the work again in 2014, after 25 years, as rehearsed by Semion Bychkov with mass choir scenes in a concert version for the London BBC PROMS festival.

The SFZ great evening at Royal Albert Hall

Two mixed choirs performed it in the Royal Albert Hall: 36 members of the BBC Singers and 75 members of SFZ, led by Jozef Chabroň. Other performers in the Sunday concert, broadcast live by Radio BBC 3, were BBC Symphony Orchestra, two children choirs – Schola Cantorum of The Cardinal Vaughan, Memorial School and Tiffin Boys’ Choir, and top foreign soloists – Russian mezzo-soprano Elena Maximova, Estonian bassist Ain Anger, Croatian bassist Ante Jerkunica, Georgian George Gagnidze, tenor Norbert Ernst and others, the Slovak Philharmonic revealed in a press release.

The evening concert Prom 29 was visited by 5,000 visitors who gave a long applause and ovations for the first stageing in London after 130 years.

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The concert was also attended by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Slovakia to St. James’ Court in London, Ľubomír Rehák with his wife.

The already 123rd edition of BBC PROMS lasts for eight weeks, between July 14 and September 9. Since its founding, it strives to popularise classical music and draw an audience as wide as possible. The festival is a popular part of cultural summer in London and is also broadcast on TV, radio and the internet.

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