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Archiv für Mai, 2010

A Cappella Italiana – what’s going on in Belcanto Country?

by Michele Manzotti, journalist (Firenze)

Italy is known worldwide as the Belcanto country. Unfortunately, even if many Italian singers are famous, a cappella style is not very popular. In fact singing is considered more a practice for a soloist, due to our opera tradition: After the madrigals era, great composers decide to focus their efforts on the opera genre, that in past centuries became very popular.  Today Italian groups are not so well followed by audiences as they deserve. The Anglo-Saxon tradition is more appreciated by Mehr…

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11 Highly Effective A Cappella Websites

21. Mai 2010 Keine Kommentare

by Florian Städtler and Fabian Fehrenbach

It was just too tempting – so we did it. Not a true ranking, just a little grading.

Which a cappella group - according to free grader software that we found online – seems to run the most effective website? In times when everybody is online almost 24/7 and both fan, promoter and media contacts are made via the (social) web, this is a very interesting question. And here are the results that Mehr…

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Swedish A Cappella Smorgasmobord – de luxe!

17. Mai 2010 Keine Kommentare

by Lee Robinson, London (via Jean Digby,

For those of you that missed the Real Group workshop in Hammersmith, here is a review by Lee Robinson, who is a member of Sing a Cappella affiliate group Take Twenty.

If seeing and hearing The Real Group in action could be compared to a dining or movie-going experience, they’d get five-star reviews from me and my fellow Take Twenty member, Louise, who’ve just returned from their inspiring and immensely instructive workshop in west London earlier today.

In the company of a slowly expanding crowd of fans and students, we were delighted to find ourselves in a small but perfectly formed auditorium, which provided an intimate space to watch with wonder as the group went through its knock-out paces within touching distance, setting the joint jumping with a breath-takingly swinging performance of Pass me the Jazz followed by their more angular arrangement of Ticket to Ride.

So much vocal richness to revel in – and then the unparalleled opportunity to ask a host of thoughtfully answered questions and to find out so much more about this outstanding group’s history (4 of them have been singing together for 25 years!), as well as insightful detail about the ways they rehearse and perform. The intense way they work together (4 days a week taking songs apart and concentrating on issues like intonation, blend, pulse and rhythm) and their awareness of group dynamics in the psychological sense, has led to them developing positive short-hand methods of focussing on their inter-personal relationships in rehearsals and even after shows, to forestall the often  snarley emotional issues that can beset groups who work together a lot.

All in all a truly terrific afternoon – topped off with a virtuoso performance of classical-contemporary variations on Mozart’s memorable Symphony No 40. In the words of Carly Simon: ‘Nobody does it better!’. The good news too, for those of you who missed this, is they’re in the process of launching an online Academy and will be flying round the world doing this sort of thing a lot in future – as well as big plans for a Real Vocal Festival in Västeras in Sweden in 2012.


Did you like this article? Do you agree or (even better) disagree? We want you to let us know, so feel free to post your comments. If you want to share ideas with more a cappella and vocal activists and recommend the site via facebook, twitter or at your blog – thank you!

Do you think there are groups or people who should be featured in the Vocal Blog interview series? Do you want to interview someone for Vocal Blog? Guest posts can be submitted to, we look forward to your contributions.

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The A Cappella Ashcloud Odyssey (starring The Swingle Singers)

3. Mai 2010 Keine Kommentare

by Clare Wheeler (introduction) and Florian Städtler (video)

In the Western world (particularly Europe), we’re not generally accustomed to situations beyond human control. This is one reason why the VACUUM (Volcanic Ash Cloud Undermining and Usurping Mercilessly – that’s mine, you can use it) has been such a fascinating phenomenon. All over Europe people are stranded on extended holidays, trains are booked up weeks in advance, and car hire…HA!

With only one gig cancellation so far, Mehr…

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