Welcome to All among the large family of VoCE 2014-2018, which has been joined this year by the Festival des Nuits d’Eté.
We are grateful for your presence, Mrs. Koczinska-Vrebes, General Consul of the Republic of Poland, Members of regional parliaments and of the Town of Chambéry, while Mr.Michel Dantin MEP, Mayor of Chambéry, apologizes for not being able to attend the concert, and I also wish to apologize for Monseigneur Philippe Ballot, Archbishop of Chambéry, who would have liked to welcome us in his seat.
the singers of VoCE 2014-2018 you will hear tonight as well as the members of VoCE Summer Peace School you might meet in front of the Cathedral, travelled here from Romania, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France.
VoCE 2014 – 2018, litterally means « Voices and ways from Europe ».
It is the 5th year that it’s members pursue their pilgrimage through all those countries. Remembrance of the fratricidal World War I became for them a way of identifying a common belonging as Europeans, today and tomorrow.
In 2018, all the nations will remember the ways out of the war. And these memories are multiplied :
The great western democracies remember their victory and contemplate the sacrifices their peoples had endured.
Germany painstakingly faces her memories.
Middle- and Southwestern European countries give rebirth to their national renaissance after the War. But they must face all the contradictions those national principles erected between them – still alive today.
The diversity of memories accompanied us all the long of our ways through Europe since 2014.
But we were lucky to have among us young men and women from Bosnia-Herzegovina. These members of our VoCE-family , intimately hurt as they are by war, still war, unveiling the essentials, always led us back on a common track : instead of competition of memories, they taught the common memory of the will to live, the memory of hope.
They designed the memories of the confidence in a better and fraternal future, undestructible desire of humans.
I am very sure the memories of this desire will still serve as a compass in the middle of doubts about our European civilisation.
And we shall never thank enough the French composer Thierry Machuel for having deeply echoed our purpose, and translated it into poetry and music. Thank you for being with us tonight.
Last not least, I wish to thank those who supported us, be it for the current project 2018, or be it on the long run.
Firstly, the Town of Chambéry which supported this event with unlimited enthusiasm. We are grateful to the Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, the Département of Savoy, Hippocrène Foundation, the University of Savoie-Montblanc, for the financial help of VoCE 2018.
We thank those who trusted us from 2014 on, the French Mission du Centenaire, the OFAJ/French-German Youth Office, the Toepfer/FvS-Foundation, and utmostly the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
But the bulk of the commitment including the financial one, has been supported by all the players of this project in the seven countries, by every single person, and therefore also by you who attend this concert, and we convey our great gratitude to you.
Cyrille Colombier, Chef de Choeur , Artistic Director of VoCE 2014 – 2018 and President of the Festival des Nuits d’Eté, will introduce himself to you, as well as Thierry Machuel, composer of « Memorial ».
President « Voix et Chemins d’Europe »