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17-04-2018:

On tour with Lassus Grand Cru


Even in the 16th century, people already knew that masterful Renaissance composer Orlandus Lassus's music leaves no one untouched. The fact that his sweet tones created a perfect concordance with great wine, was an open secret.

Zefiro Torna now combines both elements - Lassus's popular repertoire on the one hand, and a selection of exclusive wines on the other – into the sensuous production Lassus Grand Cru. During this musical wine tasting, countertenor and skilled wine expert Steve Dugardin, along with a professional actor, will entertain the audience with exquisite faits divers about Lassus's life.

Zefiro Torna will be touring in Belgium and abroad with this tasteful production.

16-01-2018:

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!

16-10-2017:

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.

31-08-2017:

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.

30-06-2017:

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!

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The Allegory of Desire

— The Song of Songs in Western and Oriental traditions (2013)

Zefiro Torna – Vocalconsort Berlin – Ghalia Benali

The Hebrew Bible contains an extremely mysterious book known as the Song of Salomon, Canticle of Canticles or the Song of Songs. The book reads like a compilation of poems thematically centered around the theme of human love. The main characters are two lovers of the opposite sex. The poetry is rich in its imagery, often plainly erotic and suggestive. The Song of Songs is set in a sublimated world, it can be seen as an allegory for God's love and as a drive for mysticism. For centuries it has formed an inspiration for numerous oriental and western artists as well as scientist.

Together with Vocalconsort Berlin and the Tunisian singer and artist Ghalia Benali, Zefiro Torna created this exceptional program in 2013. Single voiced madrigals with instrumental accompaniment, vocal duets and trios, a women's choir and polyphonic settings by composers such as von Bingen, de Machaut, Dunstable, Agricola, Lassus, Grandi, Sances, Monteverdi, Schütz, Buxtehude and J. Ch. Bach interact with traditional Arab songs, narrating texts by ‘Sufi’ poets such as Rābiʻa al-ʻAdawiyya and by a new generation of poets such as the Egyptian Abdallah Ghoneem. Creating an inspiring dialogue between cultures and history, The Allegory of Desire bridges the distance between sacrality and humanity.

"Between similarity and difference, suddenly a lot appeared to be vibrating. When, at the end, Lischka demonstrated her Indian singing style and together with Benali easily improvised a raga, the heart was completely sold." De Standaard - 07/10/2013

This production with an international cast has been staged on prestigious podiums and festivals in Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Hamburg, Nürnberg, Winterthur, Sevilla and Vilnius. In the upcoming years the program will further be promoted internationally. A recording by Warner Classics was released on 21 October 2016.

“Was zunächst befremdlich wirkt, wird schnell zu einer großen Bereicherung; bald schon treten Orient und Okzident in einen Dialog.” Gmünder Tagespost – 02.08.2016

Zefiro Torna

  • Cécile Kempenaers soprano
  • Griet De Geyter soprano
  • Jowan Merckx recorder, percussion
  • Romina Lischka viola da gamba, Indian chant
  • Jurgen De bruyn lute, theorbo


Vocalconsort Berlin

  • Claudia Böhme / Verena Gropper soprano
  • Anne Bierwirth alto
  • Stephan Gähler tenor
  • Johannes Klügling tenor
  • Christoph Drescher bass

Ghalia Benali Arabic chant, compositions

Jurgen De bruyn artistic direction
Folkert Ude dramaturgy
Jörg Bittner scenography, light design

CD