Our hope is to once again welcome individual singers to join our Festival this year and for them to have the opportunity to rehearse, perform and enjoy the stunning Médio-Tejo region of Portugal with us. Planning for the ZêzereArts Festival 2021 is ongoing, taking into account the various contingencies as, like everyone else , we are watching the ongoing Covid-19 situation and its impact on travel. In April we will either open bookings for the Festival Choir or, if necessary, postpone for another year.
The ZêzereArts Festival Choir attracts experienced choral singers from all over the world who wish to combine their love of singing and performing with a holiday in the sunshine, meeting like-minded people and enjoying the wealth of cultural experiences to be discovered in this region.
Typically based in and around historic Tomar, the Festival Choir’s week involves daily rehearsals, a mid-week performance, and culminates with performances of a symphonic choral programme, which sees the Festival Choir joined by the Featured Choirs, the ZêzereArts Vocal Ensemble (ZAVE) and the ZêzereArts Festival Orchestra.
Our performance venues feature UNESCO world heritage monuments and medieval buildings, including the Convento de Cristo, Batalha Monastery, Dornes, Almourol Castle, and the Capela Santa Iria in Tomar.
Additional vocal activities are available during the week, including Catch Ensembles for those who like to sing in small groups and daily Plainsong Workshops. Individual singing lessons with our experienced teaching staff are offered to participants wishing to further develop their individual vocal technique.
During their stay, participants enjoy access to free Festival performances and plenty of downtime in which to explore the local sights and culture, and soak up the atmosphere.
Replacing our more formal vocal chamber music course, Catch Ensembles will recreate the informal, fun and yet musically challenging atmosphere of a Catch or Glee club, looking back to the days when part-singing around the table, in the pub, hall or church was considered a valuable social attribute. Home-made entertainment, or “Elizabethan Karaoke” as one of our group has dubbed it.
“Since singing is so good a thing, I wish all men would learn to sing.” – William Byrd
An optional daily activity for ZêzereArts Festival Choir singers, the aim is to provide a stimulating space for singers to explore different styles of vocal music, in the context of a chamber group. Participants will be organised into small vocal ensembles (one or two to a part, depending on individual experience).
Each ensemble will be led by a member of the ZêzereArts vocal team. Scores will be distributed during the first meeting of each ensemble and repertoire will be defined according to each ensemble’s musical interests and experience. Repertoire will range from madrigals, part-songs and catches to close harmony pop arrangements.
Ensembles will be able to contribute to the choice of repertoire and have input into which pieces they work on in detail and which they perhaps simply sing through a couple of times before moving on. If both tutor and ensemble agree, a Catch Ensemble may participate in informal performances or satellite ZêzereArts Festival events.
All Catch Ensemble participants must be registered as members of the ZêzereArts Festival Choir and participation will incur a small extra cost. If you wish to participate please choose the relevant option when submitting your application form.
“Lauds and Chants” is an optional daily Plainsong Workshop (Sunday, July 12th – Thursday, July 16th) for ZêzereArts Festival Choir singers. These daily workshops offer singers the chance to start their Festival day with monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song, together with experienced ZêzereArts staff and singers from ZAVE.
The workshop nature of the activity means that it is equally suitable for beginners interested in discovering and experiencing this ancient tradition, as it is for those who already enjoy Gregorian chant but would like to further develop their repertoire and skills.
All Daily Plainsong Workshop participants must be registered as members of the ZêzereArts Festival Choir and participation will incur a small extra cost. If you wish to participate please choose the relevant option when submitting your application form.
Optional individual singing lessons are available for all ZêzereArts Festival participants to further develop their individual vocal technique.
With an experienced teaching staff, these one-to-one lessons are designed to cater for all levels: from those who have little to no solo singing experience but wish to further explore their individual voices, to those who already enjoy a high level of vocal technique but are interested in further developing their sound.
We are offering a package of three singing lessons for €75. The offer is open to everyone and will be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, thus we advise all interested participants to apply at your earliest convenience. One off ‘give it a go’ lessons can be booked at €30, depending on the singing teachers’ schedules.