Spring 2018

"Raise the glass! Start the song! Come, let’s cheer, let’s drink, As long as the bright stars shine, as long as the fine bottle bestows on us its content, and the full glass beckons us to enjoyment. Come, my friends, let’s make a toast! Let us all drink!" (Anon., 16thC)

We would like to raise our glass with you on the dawn of this new year in a literal way: during the performance of Lassus Grand Cru, wine flows abundantly to the sounds of Lassus' sweet and danceable songs. In our performance of Slumber, soprano Lore Binon, cellist Benjamin Glorieux and lutenist Jurgen De bruyn will submerge you in nightly atmospheres. Furthermore, 2018 brings many foreign adventures. Coming spring, Zefiro Torna will tour the Netherlands (Slumber and Lassus Grand Cru), France (Scattered Rhymes), Italy (De Fragilitate), Germany and the Czech Republic (Lassus Grand Cru).

We wish you a creative, lovely and exquisit 2018!


Warm and festive sounds

Sunday 29 October is the end of daylight saving time. No better medicine to enter the cold winter days than the warm, healing sounds of the Balsam production. After a sold-out Belgian premiere in Leuven, we will bring this program to Bierbeek on 29 October.

A day earlier we will make some Brugse cafés unsafe, together with vocal ensemble Viermaliks, with drinking songs of Orlandus Lassus during Klara's event 'Iedereen Klassiek'. The grand finale of this Lassus Café Chantant will take place in the Concertgebouw Brugge.


Premiere B.I.G.

After the successful collaboration with the puppet theatre group Ultima Thule during NERF (2013), we are presenting a second music theatre performance B.I.G. (14+). The production will be premiered on 15 September at the Minardschouwburg in Ghent, and will then continue on a tour through Flanders.


Summer 2017

A month ago, we ended our concert season with JUST =, an extraordinary production in cooperation with ARSENAAL / LAZARUS, commissioned by the city festival OP.RECHT.MECHELEN. In the meantime, we are working on the brand new musical theatre production B.I.G., which will premiere coming autumn. And of course, we are looking forward to the summer festivals in Belgium and abroad.

Read our newsletter and find out where to find us this summer. We wish you a splendid summer!


Impressive closing of our season

JUST = was not only an impressive closing of the cultural part of the city festival OP.RECHT.MECHELEN., but also the icing on the cake of our anniversary season. Over 1500 spectators witnessed scenes on the Solomon judgment, a post-war process, a scandal concert, letters of detainees and disarmed justice systems, performed by an impressive cast under the supervision of Willy Thomas and Jurgen De Bruyn.

"The concept created by Willy Thomas and Jurgen de bruyn invites the spectator to think about a system that judges people. (...) JUST= entertains the audience with a variety of artful scenes that serve a wide palette of taste, supported by a strong musical soundtrack. " (25.05.2017, Jan De Smet for De Morgen)

Check out the photoshoot by Kurt Van der Elst


Scattered Rhymes

— A tribute to Francesco Petrarca (2012)

Zefiro Torna feat. Annelies van Gramberen – Frank Vaganée Trio

6 April 1327. In a small church nearby Avignon, a glimpse of a woman named Laura ignited a lingering passion in the renaissance poet and humanist Francesco Petrarca. His rime sparse or scattered verses took the form of 366 sonnets that later would be called ‘Canzoniere’. This songbook is full of platonic love declarations and cryptic references to his unattainable beauty. It almost reads as Petrarca’s own psychoanalytical notepad.

For centuries these sonnets have formed an inspiration for numerous poets. They were set to music by excellent composers such as da Bologna, de Rore, Lassus, Monteverdi and Liszt. The historical music ensemble Zefiro Torna and Frank Vaganée Trio continue this tradition. They edit the music of medieval, renaissance and baroque madrigals, romantic songs and avant-garde music. Above that they wrote new songs on Petrarca’s immortal verses. Polyphonic tissues, obsessive rhythms, sound chemistry, painful punches, wordless scatting and healing harmonies form the elements of a timeless tribute.

The album Scattered Rhymes was released on 11 December 2015 at Homerecords, in coproduction with Brosella Folk & Jazz.

Zefiro Torna
Annelies Van Gramberen vocals
Didier François nyckelharpa
Jurgen De bruyn archlute, lute, vocals
Els Van Laethem compositions

Coproducers The City of Mechelen, CC Mechelen, Brosella Folk & Jazz

Frank Vaganée Trio
Frank Vaganée soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, arrangements
Jos Machtel double bass
Lionel Beuvens drums

Gyuri Spies sound engineer