Lesbian and gay musical enthusiasts united in a big Berlin choir – this idea was put into practice in 2002 when canta:re was founded. Characterised by diversity, canta:re is a happy crowd of more than 45 queer people who simply enjoy singing together. Our musical focus is on classical music from Renaissance to contemporary. Uta von Willert has been our musical director since October 2020. She is a professional soprano and has years of experience in working with choirs in various setups.
There are many levels to choral singing, especially in a queer choir. Singing together inspires body and soul, connects very different people – and is still a political statement.
canta:re is now twenty years old: some singers have been with us from the very beginning, some only for a short time and we always have guests who sing with us during a stay in Berlin, at the moment e.g. from the USA. Our members come from all parts of Germany and there are even people born in Berlin. Our choir is as international as our city: people from three European countries, from New Zealand and Latin America sing with us.
Founded by lesbians and gays, we have long defined canta:re as a queer choir, because fortunately the whole breadth of our community has also become part of our everyday life. This is an enrichment for everyone who is part of our choir – and that is why a classical concert with canta:re can already be a political act, because the majority of society often does not expect from queer people what we do musically.
canta:re has therefore always been consciously involved, with benefit concerts for queer groups or the musical accompaniment of commemorative events to commemorate the queer victims of Nazi terror. We regularly attend Pride Month events, whether with an information booth or at demos.
We are happy to cooperate with other choirs: this happens together with queer ensembles in our city and again and again through encounters that Various Voices or the North German choir festival Nordakkord have made possible. That’s why we look forward to inspiring musical and human encounters in Bologna!
canta:re’s history is closely connected with VV as the 2001 edition in Berlin was the starting point of our founders to create a classical queer choir. We are looking forward to hearing great music in Bologna and would like to meet old friends as well as new people from all over Europe. We are especially delighted that so many choirs from the Eastern countries will participate as we learned in Munich that this experience is so important to foster queer live in the new democracies.