Who are we?
Aria Borealis Bodø is created, developed and managed by Stormen Concert Hall and the four ensembles of Nordic Baroque Scene: Barokkanerne from Norway, Concerto Copenhagen (CoCo) from Denmark, The Finnish Baroque Orchestra (FIBO) and Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble from Sweden.
The Aria Borealis Bodø international singing competition for Early Music singers is created by musicians in search of vocal companions. We love performing early repertoire in a historically informed manner – HIP for short – on instruments similar to those the composers had in mind when they created their music. Although there has been quite a lot of ‘archeological research’ paving the way to where we are today, HIP is not about recreating a specific soundscape from the past, or strictly dictating how to perform the early repertoire. It can be better viewed as a kind of language – translating the ideas and affects of earlier times for the listeners of today. To effectively convey the drama, rhythmical swing and emotions of the music, performers need to make use of the ‘grammar’, ‘words’ and ‘codes’ of this language. Early music needs to make sense today, and we see ourselves as the mediators of its language.
Our ambition is to contribute to a growing community of singers who feel attracted to the early repertoire and the HIP approach. The competition aspires to be a resource for discovering and developing young Early Music singers headed for an international career. Additionally, we hope that the competition will accentuate what these singers need in terms of education and training, to develop into excellent HIP musicians. We are delighted that some of the most renowned experts in their fields share our visions and have joined our jury: the British soprano Dame Emma Kirkby, harpsichordist and director of Concerto Copenhagen Lars Ulrik Mortensen from Denmark, the Norwegian stage director Stefan Herheim, Finnish soprano Tuuli Lindeberg and tenor Anders J. Dahlin from Sweden.
We strive to break down artificial barriers and are guided by an understanding of working in a contemporary setting. Baroque music is related to many musical genres. For instance, it shares with jazz the principles of improvising on a chord series, playing instruments in a vocal way and pursuing the ‘swing’. Baroque music and folk music share melodic material, ornamentation and dance forms, and Baroque music also has many similarities to today’s pop music. In view of this, it’s vital to us that a HIP singer is willing to explore these relationships, and occasionally work with other genres and artistic formats.
Our way of performing is particularly focused on communication and collaboration between the performers, since in fact all Early Music is chamber music regardless of the size of the ensemble. Each musician is always in dialogue with others, sharing a mutual sense of responsibility. This special connection is not limited to the performers: With enthusiasm, excitement, and the enjoyment of what we do, we always seek to include the audience in a greater we.
Aria Borealis Bodø is supported by SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge, Nordic Culture Fund, Nordic Council of Ministers, Music Norway, Musiikin edistämissäätiö, Visit Bodø, Arts Council Norway, UNOF, The Norwegian-Finnish Cultural Foundation, Norwegian Tourism Partners and Visit Norway.
Stormen Concert Hall
Stormen Concert Hall, located in the middle of the Bodø town center, is an absolute dream location for the festival and the competition. The hall holds multiple performance venues: the Great Hall with room for about 900 seated audiences, a smaller hall with room for 250, a chamber hall with room for 80 and a black box – well suited for both receptions, concerts and other events.