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Emil Pantelimon, the manager of the Madrigal Choir, talks about the tour supported by the ensemble in the United States of America

Monday, 27 November 2023 , ora 10.50

At its 60th anniversary, the National Chamber Choir 'Madrigal - Marin Constantin,' conducted by Anna Ungureanu, will be in America, invited by the Embassy of Romania in the United States of America, for an anniversary tour from November 24th to December 4th, 2023. These events were discussed by Emil Pantelimon, the ensemble's manager, in the November 22 edition of Perpetuum mobile.

Emil Pantelimon, manager of the "Madrigal - Marin Constantin Choir", live on Perpetuum mobile. Good evening!

Good evening! I'm glad to hear from you again.

The "Madrigal 60" project continues with an anniversary tour from November 24 to December 4 in the United States of America. The ensemble, conducted by Anna Ungureanu, will return to the American continent after 35 years. What is the schedule, and where will the concerts take place?

That's correct. After 35 years since the last visit to America, and especially for the first time since democracy was established in Romania, Madrigal Choir will perform on stages in New York, Washington, Chicago, and Seattle. There are 7 events during the 10 days we are on American soil, where we proudly represent Romania. We celebrate, on the one hand, bilateral relations, and on the other hand, Romania's National Day and the preparations for Christmas. These are three elements familiar to Madrigal in its cultural diplomacy process, and we are delighted to return to the American continent.

It's quite remarkable that we're discussing 6 sold-out concerts, especially so soon after announcing the tour. Were you surprised by this enthusiastic response from American music lovers and the Romanian community in the United States?

We were very surprised, I tell you sincerely, because from the first day of ticket availability online, our colleagues from the Consulate General of Romania in New York informed us about two of the events that sold out within 24 hours. And in just 4 days, all the scheduled events were sold out. That's why, where possible, we added an extra event; specifically in Chicago, where we will have two concerts instead of one, to meet more of the audience's desire to connect with Madrigal. It's a great joy, considering venues like the National Cathedral in Washington with a capacity of over 2000 seats. If we talk about Saint John the Divine in New York, the largest Episcopal cathedral in the world, we are talking about almost 5000 seats where both American and Romanian audiences will come to listen to Madrigal in various forms and with diverse repertoires. We will perform a palette of three different repertoires, and that brings us even more joy. The preparation for this jubilee tour in the United States, organized at the initiative of the Embassy of Romania and His Excellency Ambassador Moraru, with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, has been ongoing for several weeks. All these events form a celebration of Madrigal.

I'm returning to the 'Madrigal 60' Project. 2023 was a full year, a year in which we celebrated the six decades since conductor Marin Constantin founded this ensemble with uninterrupted activity. So, 2023 was entirely dedicated to this anniversary. In a brief recap, what were the significant moments in this entire project?

It has been and continues to be a fantastic year for the Madrigal Choir. Firstly, the launch of the "Madrigal 60" concept and the concert-performance "Madrigal 60" at the National Theater is a major event, as Madrigal received its new costumes-a fresh attire at this milestone of reaching 60 years.

Speaking of Madrigal's tours, I am delighted to recall the Easter tour and the Ave Maria tour in Constanța, which has become a tradition. I also take great pleasure in remembering the launch of Madrigal's Great Book at the Bookfest Book Fair, available in two fantastic formats, spanning over 600 pages meticulously crafted by Mădălin Guruianu.

I am pleased to remember and continue to take advantage of the Madrigal 60 music lounge at Otopeni Airport, where the audience can enjoy Madrigal's music 24/7, depending on the season... or the Madrigal - Marin Constantin Galleries established at the Senate, initiated by the then Senate President, Alina Gorghiu.

There are numerous editorial projects, including upcoming official launches of Madrigal's vinyl records or the two new publications about Madrigal's history found in the CNSAS archives. One of them covers the ensemble's tours in the United States of America, while the second book, authored by Monica Lup, delves into the history of Madrigal's Christmas.

There are many initiatives, and Madrigal has worked in tandem with the National Program

"Cantus Mundi" this year. Just yesterday, in the latest major event, over 800 children formed the national gallery once again, singing choral music together in the stadium. Madrigal is everywhere, and we are very pleased about that.

I cannot help but fondly remember and invite you to continue participating in a fantastic exhibition at Art Safari, in the heart of Bucharest, where two pavilions serve as a music museum tracing the 60-year history of Madrigal and the significant revolutions proposed by Madrigal. And I allow myself to conclude, at the risk of leaving many programs aside, with 'Madrigal for Babies,' a new concept and a very important research for our collective future, launched this year. Specially crafted music by a team of Madrigal and Charite University Hospital specialists in Berlin, dedicated exclusively to an audience preparing to enter the world, including unborn children and children up to one year old. It is a program that extends across various platforms and will undoubtedly have positive effects in the community.

So, the tour in the United States of America is next, but... how will the "Madrigal 60" Project conclude? In other words, what are the projects for the end of 2023? The audience in Bucharest surely anticipates a Christmas concert!

The events within the "Madrigal 60" project will conclude on January 15th, marking the official start of Madrigal's 60th year on the Day of Culture when, together with the Ministry of Culture, we will have many special programs. But until then, let's give Madrigal what is rightfully Madrigal's - Christmas. As you beautifully noted, the audience in Bucharest and beyond eagerly awaits Madrigal.

On December 19th and 20th, at the National Theater, Madrigal Choir will present the show "On the Path of Christmas" with joy. On one hand, it saddens me to say that it's already sold out for about two weeks, and I regret that we can't add more - there are already two performances of the same show. Ofelia Popi and Marius Trudeanu, along with the Cantus Mundi choirs, will join Madrigal Choir in this fantastic show, designed by scenographer Vladimir Turturică. Following this special moment, we will prepare a significant surprise that we can't wait to announce and launch next week. It will be a big surprise for Bucharest, a big surprise for the entire country, and a very tolerant message for the times we live in. A major campaign by Madrigal will kick off next week, but until then, I leave you with the suspense of anticipation.

We look forward to the return from the United States of America, and certainly, we will discuss this surprise then.

Thank you very much for Radio Romania being by Madrigal's side for 60 years!

Interview by Lucian Haralambie
Translated by Ramona Ana-Maria Ionescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu