Latvian Song and Dance Festival Preview: July 9

From June 30 to July 10, the XXVII Nationwide Latvian Song and XVII Dance Festival will fill the capital Rīga with celebrations, music and dance.

As the week has progressed, we've guided you through each day's festivities, and today they should reach a memorable climax.

In addition, you can watch performances live on LSM and find out more about the Song and Dance Festival's 150th anniversary at the official website.

Sunday, July 9

10:00-17:00 Singalongs and Street Performers (Esplanāde Park and Rīga Old Town)

Sunday should see a carnival atmosphere in the capital, were the streets will resound with the singing of vocal ensembles – an experience where the sounds of nature, the city, and people’s voices will intermingle. The day includes 35 vocal ensembles, 7 performance locations, 49 parallel concerts, 735 pieces performed and 400-420 vocal ensemble participants singing.

12:00-17:00 Bard's Day  (Vērmanes Park)

Bards — singers of poetry — will be the focus of the day in Vērmanes Park. “Strength Grows in Shoots,” the Bards’ Day motto, is also the name of three consecutive concerts. Everything begins with childhood and the love of song fomented during that time: it grows, develops, and our personality starts to express itself; we create song, words, and melodies; then we gain life experience, reflect, and our message matures.

Bards’ Day will be an opportunity to hear a concert programme for families with children, emerging bards, and a grand concert of bards.

19:30-23:30 Grand Finale Concert "Upward Together"  (Mežaparks Great Stage)

Yes, it's time for the big one. The Grand Finale Concert, “Upward Together,” is dedicated to 150 years of the Song Festival tradition and a wish for a brighter tomorrow together for us all.

At the Silver Grove at Mežaparks, in honour of the Festival taking part on the renovated stage, mixed, women’s, men’s, senior, children’s and youth choirs, wind bands and kokle ensembles will perform under the leadership of experienced Chief Conductors and Honoured Chief Conductors. Over three hours, the 15 favourite choir songs as selected by the choristers themselves will be performed as if in one breath, and gems of Latvian choral music from many periods of history — from the classics to modern day — will be performed, including the premiere of pieces by Lolita Ritmane and Jēkabs Jančevskis.

But the final notes of the concert will not be the final notes of the festival. As is tranditional, singing and dancing will continue right through the night until 5 o'clock in the morning, when thoughts will immediately turn to the next Song and Dance Festival in five years' time! July 10 has been declared a public holiday in honor of the festival's conclusion.


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