BALSIS returns to Australia!

BALSIS will be in Australia for their third visit from December  26, 2022 to January 21, 2023 to augment the program of the 37th annual Australian Latvian Youth Festival in Adelaide, as well as offering masterclasses and concerts in Sydney and Melbourne. The choir has prepared a range of concert programs. These concerts include performances of the newest choral music composed by Andris Sejans and Valts Puce, which has been dedicated specifically to BALSIS. The choir will also perform dazzling excerpts from the all-encompassing concert “Dziesma dejo. Deja skan (Songs dance, dances sound)”, spiritual music based on the choir’s newly produced Christmas program and, of course, the repertoire of XXVII Latvian Song and Dance Celebration. Along with the concert performances, singing together with the Australian Latvians will be a large part of the choir’ s preparation for the Song and Dance Celebration which is scheduled for July 2023.

I asked the artistic director of the Youth Choir BALSIS:

Why is it important for you and BALSIS to collaborate with Latvians living in Australia? Ints answered: “I believe it to be a unique opportunity for Latvians all around the World to feel connected, not separated. Our every performance brings new impressions and new friends in music. Even if we spend our everyday greatly distant from one another, music brings us together. On these occasions, different generations meet and our young choristers can truly feel the significance of the Song and Dance Celebrations and deeply felt love for the homeland."

What will be the biggest benefit for both the choir and Australian Latvians of this trip?

Ints: “We'll see that afterwards (laughs). Based on my experience, I believe that such collaboration allows young people to feel that a LATVIAN is a LATVIAN, wherever they live. Latvia is not only a place on the map, but most importantly – it’s in your heart. Meantime, Latvians living in Australia can feel safe and confident that their young people are Latvian in their hearts and minds and will continue to be so in the future as well.”

Do you think that the Australian Latvian Youth Festival still has currency and will continue to take place in the future?

Ints: “I believe that this is a unique and long-lasting tradition. At least I’d like to think so. I particularly want to highlight the “daring” of Australian Latvians to entrust the organisation of Youth Festival to the young people themselves. I think that is the key to success. I have tried suggesting organising something similar in Latvia as well but haven’t succeeded yet (laughs). There is great confidence and strength in Australian Latvian youth, which has strengthened over the generations. The Australian Latvian Youth Festival will continue!”

BALSIS will perform on December 28, 2022 at the opening of Australian Latvian Youth Festival in Adelaide at Latvian House Talava, and on December 2, at the Folk Dance Concert in Adelaide's Scott Theatre, as well as at Estonian House on the same day, and at the community singalong on the night of December 30 also at the Latvian House Talava. On December 31 the choir will hold a masterclass focussed on the Song Celebration at Talava. Information will be available on the choir’ s website concerning the concerts and classes in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Youth Choir BALSIS express their appreciation to Youth Festival organisers for their invitation and their help in the planning events. A big thank you to Ilona Bruveris for organising masterclasses and the concert tour. Thank you to the State Culture Capital Foundation for financial support and to the parents of chorists who cover a third of travel expenses. You too have the opportunity to support the choir's activities and journey by donating to

Article by Patrīcija Mata

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