Show celebrates four years of Alentejo sing as World Heritage

The youth choir group Rouxinóis do Alentejo and several artists, such as Paulo Ribeiro and Pedro Mestre, will perform on Wednesday, in Beja, in a show commemorating the 4th anniversary of the classification of cante alentejano as a World Heritage Site.

According to the Câmara de Beja, the musical and ethnographic show ‘Cycle of the Wine of Talha’ intends to “honor the cante alentejano, the wine of carving and the Alentejo” and will happen from 21:00, in the Municipal Theater Pax Julia, with free tickets.

The show, organized by the municipality, UNESCO Center for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Association of Rouxinóis do Alentejo, is dedicated to the wine-cellar cycle, a “millenarian heritage” that the Câmara de Vidigueira, in partnership with several institutions, wants to apply for Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Alentejo’s Coral and Ethnographic Group of Nightingales of Beja and several artists will recreate the phases of the cycle of artisanal production of carving wine, a vinification practice that was created by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago and is typical of the Alentejo.

On stage, the Alentejo Nightingales will be accompanied by the musicians and singers António Caixeiro, Duarte Farias, Francisco Fanhais, Joana Santos, Jorge São Pedro, José Diogo Bento, Paulo Colaço, Paulo Ribeiro and Pedro Mestre and by the choral groups Os Camponeses de Vale of Vargo, Stars of the Alentejo, of Santa Vitória, and Singers of the Disquiet, of Beja.

The Alentejo Red and Ethnographic Youth Group is composed of about 30 children from primary and secondary schools, who rehearse, once a week, with teachers Joaquim Mariano and José Diogo, at the UNESCO Center of Beja.

According to the municipality, the group was formed in 2000, at the Humanitarian Association of Volunteer Firefighters of Beja, to represent Portugal at a youth music festival in Hungary.

From that time until 2008, the group sang fashions of cante alentejano and presented several ethnographic stories, such as the bread and oil cycle, using mime and utensils used in traditional Alentejo arts and crafts.

About two years ago, the Alentejo Nightingales returned to the active life with the support of the group Singers of Unrest.

The celebrations of the 4th anniversary of the classification of cante alentejano as Heritage of Humanity also include the Cante Fest in Serpa and a “workshop” in Castro Verde, in the district of Beja.

Promoted by the Câmara de Serpa, the Cante Fest, with several initiatives, began on Friday in Lisbon, and ends on Tuesday, in the city of Alentejo, with a ceremony to commemorate the 4th anniversary of classification, from the 18:00, at Casa do Cante.

The “workshop” of cante alentejano, promoted by the municipality and given by singers, will take place on Saturday, at the Cineteatro Municipal de Castro Verde.

Cente alentejano, collective singing without instruments, was classified, on November 27, 2014, as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, by UNESCO, thanks to an application presented by the Câmara de Serpa and the Regional Entity of Tourism of Alentejo and Ribatejo.

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