Song beyond borders
Various Voices 2018 Munich is the 14th European Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexuell/Transgender and Intersexual (LGBTI*) Choir Festival. From 9 to 13 May, almost 100 choirs with 2,700 singers from 19 countries will perform some 200 concerts. The main venue is the Gasteig, Europe’s largest cultural centre with its four concert halls. In addition, performances will be held in public areas, including on two outdoor stages in the city centre. Concerts cover all genres, from musical, rock and pop to political songs, cabaret, folk songs, own compositions and classical music. A highlight is a Carmina Burana sing-along concert featuring a thousand singers.
The choirs are from all over Europe, the United States and Australia. Festival organisers also created a special funding programme to enable 14 choirs from Eastern and Southern Europe to attend the festival. Among the receiving choirs are four groups from Ukraine and a group from Turkey – places where LGBTI* rights and a "queer" lifestyle are generally not accepted.
Various Voices was held for the first time in Cologne in 1985. Among the other cities to have hosted the annual festival are Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, Stockholm and Zurich. For the organisers, the vision behind Various Voices is music as a binding element – for an open way of life and for the arts, beyond all national borders.