Ieva Rozentāle, the Head of LTV Kulturas, has confirmed that Eurovision Choir of the Year is scheduled to be a biennial contest.
As the final of Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017 draws closer, more details about the future of the competition have been revealed. Ieva Rozentāle, the Head of LTV Kulturas and the driving force behind the contest has confirmed that the current plan for the future of the contest is for it to be held every two years. However, that if the viewing figures across the competing countries exceeds expectations then the event could be turned into an annual competition.
Ieva Rozentāle has explained further that if the contest remains biennial then it would enable the contest to take place alongside the European Choir Games which also take place every two years. The next city to host the European Choir Games is Gothenburg, Sweden in 2019. However, this decision will depend on a further assessment by the EBU and the Heads of Culture departments at other EBU member broadcasters.
The contest as revealed earlier this week, has been in the planning for three years since LTV and and Ieva Rozentāle first began working on the format. Ms Rozentāle explained in an interview with LSM that this contest bridges the gap between the Eurovision Song Contest which appeals to a vast audience and Eurovision Young Musicians which is focused on a small, elite audience.
The journey to the point at which the contest could be held has been a slow journey, with originally only five countries agreeing to take part in the contest. However, once the EBU agreed that the contest could go ahead the remaining four countries who will compete on stage in Riga swiftly signed up.
Unlike the Eurovision Song Contest which uses a public televote as well as jury voting, for the first edition of Eurovision Choir of the Year it has been decided that a jury of three experts will decide the winner. This decision was taken as a number of competing countries, specifically Austria and Germany could only broadcast the competition on a time delay.
Looking into the future Ms Rozentāle stated that her vision is;
The Eurovision Choir Contest could be a bridge between the very high, elitist art and the great entertainment that is in that great Eurovision Song Contest. It could be a democratic, beautiful competition, in which amateur choirs sing not without emotion and without fear, instead they can be joyous.
Eurovision Choir of the Year will be held for the first time on July 22 in Riga, Latvia as part of the European Choir Games. The European Broadcasting Union has partnered with Interkultur to create this latest Eurovision family event, and both hope to see the format develop into a yearly event.
Competing in the contest are:
- Austria (ORF) – Hardchor Linz
- Belgium (RTBF) – Les Pastoreaux
- Denmark (DR) – Academic Choir of Aarhus
- Estonia (ERR) – Estonian TV Girls’ Choir
- Germany (WDR) – Jazzchor Freiburg
- Latvia (LTV) – Spīgo
- Slovenia (RTVSLO) – Carmen Manet
- Hungary (MTVA) – Bela Bartok Male Choir
- Wales (S4C) – Côr Merched Sir Gâr
The Choirs competing in the contest will perform once for up to 6 minutes. The performance can include one or several works, of any genre, and “should in part reflect national or regional character in some way”. A jury will be made up of prominent international musicians who will decide the winner of the contest.