800 singers will participate in Pope’s mass at Sagrada Família

The most prestigious choirs of Catalonia will sing at the religious ceremony inside Antoni Gaudí’s temple. The Orféo Català, the Coral Sant Jordi and the children’s choir of Montserrat Abbey will be amongst the participants.

CNA / Pere Gendrau

November 3, 2010 10:24 PM

Monistrol de Montserrat (ACN).- Benedict XVI’s ceremony at the Sagrada Familia temple, which will be ordained as a “basilica” and dedicated to God, will have a massive presence of the top choirs of Catalonia. On the 7th of November, the Orfeó Català –the resident choir at the Palau de la Música auditorium -, the historical Coral Sant Jordi and one of the best children’s choirs in the World, the L’Escolania choir from Montserrat Abbey will be amongst the participants. Sergi d’Assís Gelpí, the prefect of the l’Escolania school, told CNA that they have conducted a single collective rehearsal and, from there, each choir will make final tunings to its own repertoire, which was already prepared well in advance. However, the moment each choir will intervene during the liturgy is still not completely decided.

The prefect told CNA that “some pieces will be sung by 3 choirs together”, referring to the L’Escolonia children’s choir, the Orfeó Català and the Coral Sant Jordi. Other pieces will be interpreted with the other choirs.

The communion will be sung collectively during the ceremony. In other moments, single choirs will be singing, even including some “solo” performances. He said that “some singers” from the l’Escolania choir will do this, performing “a very specific participation”. At the end of the ceremony, the Aleluya by Haendel will be played together with trumpets and drums.

The proposal to bring these choirs together came from the Archbishop of Barcelona, according to Sergi d’Assís Gelpí. It was very well received by all. Since the Sagrada Família is an icon representing much more than a mere church, he anticipates very good results in combining religious choirs with civil ones.

Regarding the temple’s acoustics, he says,  “it is beautiful” when we all sing together, as Gaudí had foreseen the space for “a lot of people singing together”. “However, when a small choir sings, in such a big temple, it ends being a very small thing”. This is why he stresses the importance of doing sound tests before the event.