Grant to the Mechelen Chamber Orchestra for the performance of the El Pessebre Christmas Oratorio by Pablo Casals, 2019

Project: the El Pessebre Christmas Oratorio by Pablo Casals

Beneficiary: the Mechelen Chamber Orchestra

Budget: € 60.000

Period: 2019 – 2020

The Mechelen Chamber Orchestra will perform the El Pessebre Christmas Oratorio by Pablo Casals in 2020 during a tour through Brussels (19 December 2020), Mechelen (20 December 2020), Vic (26 December 2020) and Barcelona (27, 29 and 30 December 2020).

Poet and author Joan Alavedra (1896-1981) wrote the text of El Pessebre when he and Pablo Casals helped refugees from the Franco regime in the camps in the French Pyrenees. During the German occupation of "French Catalonia", Casals set the poems to music, after which it would take until 1960 before the oratorio premiered.

With the Christmas oratorio, the collaboration between Flanders and Catalonia is put in the spotlight. In addition, the Christmas oratorio carries a message of peace and tolerance that fits in with the commemorations of the Great War.