The World Choir Games will be part of Riga's European Capital of Culture program and one of the greatest cultural events in the city next year. The World Choir Games will continue from July 9 to July 19, with various concerts taking place in Riga concert halls, a parade of the World Choir Games participants, gala concert in Mezaparks and many other events.
Romans Vanags, Latvia's artistic director of the World Choir Games, said that this would be an unprecedented choral event for Latvia.
"Choirs from various countries will compete in 29 categories. There will be a large number of various participants: men's and women's choirs, children's choirs and, for the first time in the history of the World Choir Games, senior choirs," said Vanags, adding that there would also be concerts by gospel choirs, vocal ensembles and many others.
Also, the world-famous composer Morten Lauridsen and Eriks Esenvalds will be in Riga for the World Choir Games, as well as two internationally renowned choirs: "The Real Group" from Sweden and "The King's Singers" from Great Britain.
Previously Latvian choirs performed very successfully at the World Choir Games, said Vanags, adding that the singing tradition was one of the best forms of diplomacy for Latvia, and that the World Choir Games would be held in Riga thanks to Latvia's cultural achievements.
German cultural organization "Interkultur" President Guenter Titsch said that Latvia had a long and well-established tradition of choral singing. Latvian choirs are known for solidarity, joy and good will - principles that are highly important for the World Choir Games, which is why the 2014 Games will be held in Riga, said Titsch.
Latvia has top-quality choirs. So far, already seventy choirs from Latvia have participated in "Interkultur" events, bringing home multiple grands prix and gold medals, he said.
Culture Minister Zaneta Jaunzeme-Grende (All For Latvia-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK) believes that it is logical that the World Choir Games will finally take place in the choral superpower of Latvia. The late conductor Imants Kokars had dreamed about Latvia hosting the World Choir Games, she said.
Riga Vice Mayor Andris Ameriks (Honor To Serve Riga) said in turn that Riga was prepared for such a major event as the World Choir Games, adding that it was a great honor for the city to host the World Choir Games. More than 20,000 singers are expected to visit Riga for the World Choir Games.
More information about the World Choir Games may be found at the event's official website "www.singriga.lv" and "Interkultur" organization's website "www.interkultur.com".