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News

05-08-2019:

Premiere Time Crawls


On Tuesday, August 13, the production Time Crawls will premiere during the festival De Zomer van Sint-Pieter in Leuven. Melodies by Jowan Merckx - member of Zefiro Torna - were arranged by composers Marnix De Cat and Martin Valcke for a new kind of broken consort, performed by an international top cast. The program traverses the European mainland from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, and from Ireland to the Black Sea via polkas, bourrées, jigs, Breton folk dances and waltzes, to the typical tonalities and rhythms of the Balkans.

Don't miss the premiere and buy your tickets

09-05-2019:

Summer 2019


With the holidays ahead we announce our summer concerts. After some well-deserved rest, we're back on stage with B.I.G. at the MAfestival Bruges and Llibre Vermell at the Eté Mosan Festival. We also make time for the creation of the brand new production Time Crawls with melodies by Jowan Merckx, set by composers Marnix De Cat and Martin Valcke for a new kind of broken consort.

28-02-2019:

Balsam - sold out


Both Balsam concerts on 6 and 7 May 2019, during the Lunalia festival, are now sold out. Want to see Balsam live? Come to Dil'Arte in Dilbeek on 6 April, there are still a few tickets left.

07-01-2019:

Spring 2019


2019 will be a year to look forward to. A beautiful spring is approaching, with numerous extraordinary productions touring both in Belgium and abroad. From renaissance and baroque music to jazz and traditional music. Zefiro Torna wishes you an inspiring and heart-warming 2019!

Discover Zefiro Torna's plans during spring 2019 in the latest news letter.

26-11-2018:

CD release BALSAM


Zefiro Torna releases 'Balsam' at Antarctica Records, successor to the productions ‘Les Tisserands’ and ‘O, Monde Aveugle!’. The project unites musicians who are experts in various genres such as old, ethnic and jazz music. This time the mysterious forces of plants, flowers and herbs formed the starting point for the programme.

"An unctuous and euphonious balsam for the mind and the soul. A truly intoxicating experience." - thus Stefan Grondelaers. Have a look at our trailer for a first impression.

Order the CD here - for yourself or as a Christmas gift. And for extra listening pleasure we offer the trilogy 'Tisserands - O Monde Aveugle - Balsam' for a small price.

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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