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Voices & Votes

Voices & Votes

Playing period

21 - 22. May

The Bergen International Festival and Bergen National Opera are proud to present a spectacular, colourful and thought-provoking performance about a journey towards liberation.

Singers from Palestine, Sri Lanka and South Africa join Nordic singers and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in a tribute to fights for freedom around the world.

With the bicentennial of the Norwegian Constitution and battles for freedom in India, South Africa and Palestine as a starting-point, Voices & Votes will link different musical expressions with excerpts from constitutions, declarations of independence, protest songs, folk songs and poetry of resistance.

The British composer Orlando Gough will put the performance together. He is well known for his imaginative performances which often put professionals and amateurs, local artists and international choirs and soloists together on stage. Professional and amateur choirs from all over the county will participate in the project.

Astrid Luisa Niebuhr (18) and the young members of the local multi-national musical performance group Fargespill have been asked to write a new Norwegian constitution, which will be the grand finale of the performance.

Palestinian Reem Kelani, Manickam Yogeswaran from Sri Lanka, South-African singer Thandi Swartbooi and Sami Wimme Saari perform together with opera singers Hanna Husáhr and Njabulo Madlala. Violinist/fiddler Nils Økland, a band led by Ole André Farstad, choirs from all over Western Norway and  and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra will also be performing.

Pre-talk with Mary Miller in the Grieghallen foyer:

Wednesday 21st May at 18:00 Thursday 22nd May at 18:15

Presented by the Bergen International Festival and Bergen National Opera in cooperation with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Den Nationale Scene. A production by Bergen National Opera.


Orlando Gough / Concept and music Clark Rundell / Conductor Olivia Fuchs  / Director

Wimme Saari, Reem Kelani, Manickam Yogeswaran, Thandi Swaartbooi, Hanna Husáhr and Njabulo Madlala - Soloists

Nils Økland, Ole André Farstad, Stein Urheim, Anders Bitustøyl and Snorre Bjerck - Musicians

Karl Bomann-Larsen, Sulekha Ali Omar, Milad Farokh - Actors

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Edvard Grieg Choir Ålesund Chamber Choir Singers from Bergen Philharmonic Choir Music students at Bergen Private Gymnas Bergen National Opera's children's choir Singers from Fargespill

Texts by Gina Krog, Nelson Mandela, Emmeline Pankhurst, Mohindas Gandhi, Jaharwarhal Nehru, David Ben Gurion, Daniel François Malan et al.

New Norwegian constitution text by Astrid Luisa Niebuhr and members of Fargespill: Jeran Karunairaja, Anney Niokindi, Irene Kinunda, Mona Ibrahim Ahmed, Ann Shanthya Thevanathan, Ahmed Naif al-Badri, Tuva Tveit and Gutu Abere.

The performance lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes. There is no break.

Image attributions

Selected dates

21/05 Wednesday 18.45
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22/05 Thursday 19.00
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