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“On the Way to Christmas”, an unprecedented performance by the Madrigal National Choir

Thursday, 9 December 2021 , ora 16.21

On the 16th and 17th of December, 7 pm, the National Chamber Choir "Madrigal- Marin Constantin" and the Cantus Mundi National Program invite the public to the Extraordinary Show "On the Way to Christmas", that will take place at the Bucharest National Opera. The special guests of the event are actors Ofelia Popii and Marius Turdeanu.

For over half a century, Romanians have associated the music that celebrates the birth of Jesus with the music of the Madrigal Choir, and its Christmas concerts represent one of the longest-livedand prevailing cultural traditions in Romania. The famous ensemble, conducted by Anna Ungureanu, has prepared an unprecedented show, that brings together the unique melody of the Madrigal Choir, the theatrical art, an impressive scenery and an exceptional union of the voices of the Madrigal Choir with those of over 100 children from the Cantus Mundi National Program. Actors Ofelia Popii and Marius Turdeanu come to complete this project with literary elements, that are meant to amplify the emotional component of the show.

"This year's Christmas show is based on an emblematic metaphor, present in the collective mind for over 2000 years- Christmas as a miracle of a new beginning, of hope and rediscovered faith, of trusting what is yet to come. Our new project "On the Way to Christmas" represents this kind of parable of human resilience in the face of the trials of destiny, in which the Madrigal Choir, together with the guest actors go with us into the intricate meanings of Christmas through music, poetry, literature, scenography, stage movement and light-design"- explained Emil Pantelimon, the manager of the National Chamber Choir "Madrigal- Marin Constantin", who has written the script and directed the show.

The idea of this shows starts from a universal story. It is the story of each of us, of each family that might separate, regardless of its member's wish, when they find themselves caught in the collective violent occurrences, that might uproot and test the values that unite us all. It is a story presented through music and light to those who are estranged, that keeps the hope of rediscovering themselves through the radiant symbol of Christmas. Christmas becomes that magical time, the essential "home" in which the family's members reunite themselves.

Anna Ungureanu, the main conductor of the National Chamber Choir "Madrigal- Marin Constantin" has prepared for this show an emblematic repertoire, meant to create an organic link between drama and hope, classic and modern, in the tradition of the cherished Romanian and international carols.

With the direction and script of the show byEmil Pantelimon, the scenography is created byVladimir Turturică. The selection of the dramatic texts was made by MădălinGuruianu and will lead the public through a dynamic emotional succession, starting from "Song of Songs", to poems by Eugen Jebeleanu, Lucian Blaga and CostacheIoanid, and texts by Khaled Hosseini, Saint Teresa of Avila and Paulo Coelho.

The guest actors of "On the Way to Christmas" are Ofelia Popii and Marius Turdeanu, two of the most acclaimed and awarded actors of Romania, effervescent artistic personalities, who add dynamism to the long-awaited moment of the traditional Christmas Concert of the Madrigal Choir.

And because "the Way to Christmas" is an event that profoundly speaks about family ties in difficult times, the two concerts on the 16th and 17th of December will support the cause of Hope and Homes for Children Romania, a foundation that has been working for more than 23 years for closing the orphanages in the country and keeping the most vulnerable children together with their parents. The Partnership between the institution of the Madrigal Choir and Hope and Homes for Children extends to the Classical Christmas Market Fair. Here, between the 3rd and 30th of December the visitors will be able to learn every day about the "I'm here!" ("Suntaici!") campaign, a project about the biggest fear of a child- to be separated from his family. More details can be found on www.departedefrica.ro

Tickets for the show are available on Bilete.ro.

The event will comply with all COVID-19 prevention regulations in effect at the time of the event.

It is mandatory to wear a mask throughout the event.


Theatre and film actressOfelia Popiigraduated from the Faculty of Theatre of the Babeș-BolyaiUniversity in Cluj-Napoca in 2001, when she has started working at the "RaduStanca" National Theatre in Sibiu. In the last 20 years she has become one of the most admired presence on the national stage, acclaimed by both the public and the specialized press, with several remarkable roles that have brought her national and international awards. One of her most charismatic and intense performances is Mephistopheles, from "Faust" (directed by SilviuPurcărete), for which she received the UNITER Award for the Best Actress (2008), as well as the "Herald Angel" Award at the Edinburgh International Festival (2010). In 2021 he made her directorial debut with the play "A Summer Day" by SławomirMrożek, at the "RaduStanca" National Theatre. Moreover, she has starred in eight Romanian feature-films, the last one being "Man and dog" (directed by Ștefan Constantinescu), released in 2021.

Marius Turdeanu is a theatre and film actor and a notable and prolific presence on the national stage. He graduated from the Art of the Actor Faculty- University of ArtsTârgu Mureș in 2002 and is part of the team of the "RaduStanca" National Theatre in Sibiu and collaborates with the National Theatre in Târgu Mureș. In Sibiu, he performs not only in the latest premieres ("Autobahn", directed by Andrei and AndreeaGrosu), but also in productions that have been in the repertoire for many seasons ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", directed by Andreea and Andrei Grosu, "Carnival Stuff" and "Gulliver's Travels", directed by SilviuPurcărete or "Platonov", directed by AlexandruDabija). He got nominated twice for the UNITER Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in "Master and Margarita" (directed by ZoltánBalázs) and "TheCioran Temptation" (directed by GavriilPinte). The last film he starred in is "Tom and Jerry 2.0", based on the play "Jerry and Tom", by Rick Cleveland, directed by Florin Piersic Jr.

The National Chamber Choir "Madrigal- Marin Constantin"is an emblem of the Romanian and universal musical life. From the moment it was found, in 1963, by conductor Marin Constantin (1925-2011), the Madrigal Choir has held over 4,600 concerts acclaimed all over the world, thus becoming a true "national brand". It is one of the international symbols of the choral chamber music, with a repertoire inclined to the European Renaissance, Byzantine music and contemporary Romanian and universal creation.

In November 2016, the National Chamber Choir "Madrigal- Marin Constantin" was officially recognized as Ambassador of Freedom, Hope and Peace, receiving the "Jean Nussbaum and Eleanor Roosevelt" Award at the United Nations Palace in Geneva, within the Global Summit of Religion, Peace and Security.

After 58 years of uninterrupted activity, the National Chamber Choir "Madrigal- Marin Constantin", public institution of concerts of national importance, subordinated to the Romanian Ministry of Culture, continues its course of cultural diplomacy, being one of the most long-lasting and appreciated European choral ensemble.

Since 2011, the Madrigal Choir has been running the Cantus Mundi National Program, the biggest program of social integration through music for children in Romania, initiated by maestro Ion Marin, who brings together over 1,680 choirs and over 60,000 children within the borders and from diaspora.

Translated by Mihaela Dumitrescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu