FRIDAY DECEMBER 8, 2023
11:00 – 17:00: Welcome and registration of the Choirs (Oratorio San Filippo Neri)
15:00: Choral Competition (Category D – Folk, Spiritual, Gospel – Oratorio San Filippo Neri)
21:00: First non-competitive Concert (Oratorio San Filippo Neri)
SATURDAY DECEMBER 9, 2023
10:00 – 12:00: Welcome and registration of the Choirs (Oratorio San Filippo Neri)
9:30: Choral Competition (Category E – Sacred Music – Church di Santa Cristina della Fondazza)
15:00 Choral Competition (Category A – Equal Voices Choirs – Church di Santa Cristina della Fondazza)
21:00: Second non-competitive Concert (Church of Santi Bartolomeo and Gaetano)
SUNDAY DECEMBER 10, 2023
9:30: Choral Competition (Category B – Mixed Choirs – Oratorio San Filippo Neri)
15:30: Choral Competition (Category C – Children Choirs – Oratorio San Filippo Neri)
21:00: Choral Competition (Category X – Grand Prix – Oratorio San Filippo Neri)
22:30: Awarding and Closing Ceremony (Oratorio San Filippo Neri)
The venues of the Competition:
Oratorio San Filippo Neri – Map – Via Manzoni 5 – Bologna
On 13 August 1733 Cardinal Lambertini, then archbishop of Bologna, inaugurated the Oratory of St Philip Neri, designed by architect Alfonso Torreggiani (1682-1764). The place hosted the meetings of the Congregation that had sprung up around the cult of the saint. After the official approval of the Congregation of the Filippini, which took place in 1621 with a bull of Gregory XV, for more than a century the meetings of the devotees took place in various places, where academies, sermons, conferences and spiritual exercises were also held. In 1866, the Oratory closed following the Napoleonic suppression of religious orders and was turned into a military barracks. Only in 1905, when it became the property of the Bologna Curia, did it host the first mass. After forty years of activity, the Oratory was heavily marked by the Second World War: on Saturday 29 January 1944, the seventh bombing raid on Bologna since the beginning of the war almost completely destroyed it, in the raid that caused the most damage to the city’s artistic heritage. In 1948, the Oratory was donated by the Curia to the Filippini Fathers. The first consolidation and reconstruction work, supervised by the then superintendent Alfredo Barbacci, was unfinished in 1953. Subsequently, for over twenty years, against the advice of the Superintendency of Architectural Heritage, it was a warehouse for building materials. In 1997, the Foundation purchased the Oratory and began restoration work, entrusting it to architect Pier Luigi Cervellati. The restoration lasted 18 months and historicised the war wound: alongside the original remains, an attempt was made to faithfully restore what was left of a masterpiece of Bolognese Baroque architecture, and the work begun by Barbacci was continued, together with the reconstruction of the vaults and the dome by means of a wooden framework. On 20 December 1999, the Oratory of San Filippo Neri finally reopened to the public.
Church of Santa Cristina della Fondazza – Map – Piazzetta Morandi 2 – Bologna
The Church of Santa Cristina is one of the most beautiful in the city. It houses works of great artistic value and today serves as a privileged centre for listening to music, offering festivals entrusted to exceptional performers every year from October to May. The church is home to the Schola Gregoriana Benedetto XVI, directed by the Olivetan monk Dom Nicola Bellinazzo, which aims to promote the knowledge and dissemination of Gregorian chant. Closed and reopened several times during the Napoleonic period, with the Unification of Italy the Church of St. Christine became a military warehouse before being reopened to the public in 2008 as a classical music auditorium and as the home of the Gregorian chant school. The origins of the church can be traced back to 1247 when the Camaldolese nuns founded the Convent of Santa Cristina ‘della Fondazza’. Built in 1602 by Giulio della Torre, the church has a single nave with four chapels on each side where statues of saints, works by Giuseppe Mazza, Giovanni Tedeschi and the only sculptures by the painter Guido Reni stand out, together with paintings that provide a compendium of Bolognese painting from the early 16th century to the end of the 17th century, including Ludovico Carracci’s Ascension, Giacomo Raibolini’s Adoration of the Shepherds, Lucio Massari’s Visitation and others. The peculiar shape of the high altar transforms the entire architecture into a kind of musical instrument, in fact on its sides are two doors surmounted by windows opening onto the choir, a room behind the apsidal area from which the nuns’ chant propagated with astonishing acoustic clarity from the altar to the entrance. At the top of the Baroque bell tower, dating back to 1692, originally stood a large copper statue of St. Christine, later replaced in 1745, following lightning damage, by architect Carlo Francesco Dotti with a ball and cross, which are still present.
Basilica Collegiata of Santi Bartolomeo and Gaetano – Map – Strada Maggiore 4 – Bologna
A church at the site dedicated to St Bartholemew had existed since the 5th century; it was likely built atop an even older church and housed Benedictine monks till the 16th century. The church was designed by Giovanni Battista Falcetti with elaboration by Agostino Barelli, and owes the awkward facade due to its construction in 1517 at the site of a palace begun by Andrea da Formigine, commissioned by a member of the Gozzadini. The project, which is seen in the single-story portico along the exterior, was interrupted after the death of the patron, soon after completion of what became the side portico. In 1599, the church came under the leadership of the Theatines, and in 1627, they ordained a complete restructuring of the complex by Giovanni Battista Natali, called il Falzetta, and by Agostino Barelli. In 1671 when Cajetan (Gaetano), the founder of the Theatine order, was canonized, the church gained the added dedication. The bell-tower and final chapels were completed by 1694. The ceiling of the central nave has a Vision of San Gaetano (1667) by Angelo Michele Colonna and Giacomo Alboresi. The second altar on the right has a San Carlo Borromeo at the cemetery of Varallo (1614) by Ludovico Carracci. The 4th altar on right has an Annunciation (of the Beautiful Angel) (1632) by Francesco Albani and he also painted the lateral wall frescoes (1633) depicting a Nativity and Dream of Joseph. In the ceiling of transept is depicted a Glory of San Stefano (1695) by Giovanni Antonio Burrini and Marcantonio Chiarini. The apse has a depiction of the Martyrdom of San Bartolomeo and Two Miracles of the Saint, 1685 frescoes by Marcantonio Franceschini and Luigi Quaini. The cupola (1691) was decorated by Giuseppe and Antonio Rolli. The chapel of the left transept has a Beato Paolo Buralli (1772) by Ubaldo Gandolfi and a small Madonna with sleeping Jesus (1632) by Guido Reni. The lunettes of the portico were decorated with scenes from the life of St Cajetan, including one by Lucio Massari. The Baroque interior also has paintings by Alessandro Tiarini, Ercole de Maria, and Carlo Baldi.