Karmina Šilec

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Karmina Šilec

Karmina Šilec is a world known conductor, author of music theatre projects and artistic director of Carmina Slovenica and Choregie.


Director

… the grandiosity of the staging rivals what one might see at the Met… an overwhelming aural and visual experience… Šilec presents her arcana with a heavy dose of beauty and wonder…
(Theatre Mania)

… vibrantly theatrical, genre-blurring, unusual in its techniques, eclectic in its musical style and politically charged… one hopes CS will become a regular visitor to New York…
(The New York Times)

… breathtaking and equally relevant multimedia suite… a sonically thrilling, disquieting premiere for Karmina Šilec’s Toxic Psalms...
(New York Music Daily)

… striking new work by the rabidly talented Carmina Slovenica… the ensemble and its director, Karmina Šilec, have created haunting images…
(The New York Times)

…  the musical answer to Bausch's groundbreaking concept of Tanztheater… provocative pastich …
(Opera World)

 … theatrical singing at top level … beautiful voices and an extraordinary theatrical instinct ... not only their voices, but also their bodies are their instrument. Extreme discipline in larynxes and limbs and the excellent musicality give you goose bumps. In this sense they brought theatrical singing to the top level. That will again be the merit of Šilec …
(Trouw) 

 ... overwhelming and unconventional music with no plot, where from beginning to end you are on the edge of your chair. The vocal theater of artistic director Karmina Šilec built artfully choreographed scenes around fantastically sung music … intense performance of the choir and the rhythm of the show were really good ...
(NRC Handelsblad)

… a theater which aims for perfection in any discipline … in audience you cannot do much more than almost breathless look and marvel so much quality ...
(Opera magazin)

…  polished theatricality to the mix as well as an ambiguity all too rare in American performance … all add up to an evening that’s bracing yet, perversely enough, enchanting…
(The New York Times)

... jaw dropplingly gorgeous singing ... strikingly staged by Karmina Šilec … 
(New York Observer)

… haunting theatrical moments …
(Wall Street Journal)

… innovative theater company Carmina Slovenica … intellectually challenging Toxic Psalms …
(France Press)

… at times somber and meditative, at times visceral… incredibly talented young women of Carmina Slovenica remind us that a collective can also be a positive power… with its high-contrast details, Toxic Psalms at times resembled a more budget-conscious Robert Wilson production... the performance’s message was often submerged by the incredible visuals…
(New York Music Daily)

… some listeners will recall the raw feminine energy of "Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares," while others will see parallels with the work of Heiner Goebbels and David Lang. All will be moved by the show’s condemnation of men killing for the glory of their psalms…
(The New Yorker)

… all of the material is conveyed with commitment and precision from this highly skilled vocal ensemble. In addition to making her cast sound extraordinary, director Šilec makes great use of the depth of St. Ann's Warehouse...
(Theatre Mania Review)

… a visceral slide into darkness…
(The New York Times)

… the choice of music spanned the centuries and the globe and was all the more fascinating, and relevant, for the ambitious and striking arrangements… and while it wouldn’t be exactly accurate to characterize the movements of the choir as dance – Šilec calls it "choregie" – the choreography was just as ambitious, and amplified the disturbing quality of the performance…
(New York Music Daily)

... Karmina Šilec’s choral opera Fauvel is a really interesting, multilayered and a very aesthetic work ... captivating beauty... veritable Theaterspektakel with immense beautiful images...  ... Fauvel is like a bulky work of art in a museum that refreshes, encourages us to think, distresses and embraces at the same time. And that is the reason why it continuously invites the viewer to new observations – if one only allows it... 
(Basellandshaftlische Zeitung)

... It was a great success, the premiere of the choir opera "Fauvel" ...
(Aargauer Zeitung)

 … a nightmarish collage on the theme of religious violence is the fascinating opening presentation of the annual music theater Rotterdam Opera Days …                                                                         
(Volkskrant)  

… Šilec’s direction toyed with crowd dynamics on both the conformist and nonconformist sides with a coldly sardonic humor that offered momentary respite from the lingering bleakness of the music…
(New York Music Daily)

... Why, then, did I leave St. Ann’s smiling? Because "Toxic Psalms" proves that with even the most somber material, there can be delight in sheer virtuosity, in the intensity of live performance and in being introduced to a group one hopes will become a regular visitor to New York…
(The New York Times)

… music theatre which … is becoming a category, a phenomenon and a measure on its own…
Večer

… her projects are included in the Slovene art pantheon of the unforgettable…
… the synaesthetic effect of individual elements of this comprehensive work of art particularly intensive and original... 
Večer

… dramaturgical arc of the performance is incontestable, and the suggestiveness of scenes underlined by incredible abilities of women-actors, performers, finest interpreters… 
Večer

... a complex stage composition where it is possible to analyse a very real happening with all the symbolic and allusive subtones, or give yourself over to the totality of the performance and its hypnotic atmosphere. Created by the music, of course…
… Another example of Karmina Šilec’s well thought-out approach to expressive possibilities of music theatre which presents relatively complex subject matters in a way that is suggestive enough, in case this form wants to pull out of the narrow exclusive circles and continue to convince those already convinced, this seems to be the only way…
(Delo)

… that is no longer just a top-notch choir, but a complex collective in which the conductor Karmina Šilec uses the choregie concept to establish brand new interpretative dimensions of the so-called contemporary classical music. Gesture, facial expression, choreography and the dynamics of the performers are mainly in the service of graduating suggestiveness, the images and stage tableaux are never self-sufficient; they are dosed with precision, without causing  distraction or offering misleading emphasis of the substance; there is always and only music in the forefront.
And how extremely diverse and heterogeneous it is; an exceptional sense of combining what appears to be incompatible, culminating into a surprisingly homogenous totality in the end – yet another quality of the conductor...
(Delo)

… with singers of Vocal Theater Carmina Slovenica, it’s artistic director Karmina Šilec and her artistic team, the energy of young actors creates incredible images…
(Theatre - contemporian.net)

... The conductress Karmina Šilec doesn’t "train" the girls only how to sing, but also in free improvisation, in effective short scenic representations, body actions, choreographic configurations and movements. It is really astounding with what agility, body control, precision and speed the girls act – performing, speaking, singing...
(Tanzbau)

... The result of a year-long work of Karmina Šilec on the concept of Choregie – vocal theatre or theatre of voices is reflected in astonishing sound and declamatory appearances of the young girls...
(Erpery Word Press)

… joyous moments of collective energy or anarchy that these astonishing performers shone, and the piece itself really came alive…
(The Telegraph)

… young women are responsible for this outstanding evening, each of them blessed with more than one talent. And how they proliferated…
… In general: professional precision that leaves one speechless. From choral singing, through crystal clear choral speaking, to simple stage movement – individual, in groups, as a whole, with or without props. Therefore it makes sense that their conductor Karmina Šilec no longer speaks about the "choir" or "choral singing" when she speaks about her ensemble, but about "vocal theatre or theatre of voices". And that is of course where the similarity to Heiner Goebbels’s understanding of theatre can be found…
(Neue Musik Zeitung)

… an outstanding scenic project in fourteen tableaux…
… Karmina Šilec with her girls and excellent guests certainly knows what she is doing, what she wants, what they all know, what they can do and offer…
… Carmina Slovenica extremely well prepared, as always…
(Delo)

… a highly stylised and aestheticized inscenation…
(Večernji list)

… subtle symbiosis of words and music…
… Šilec once again surpassingly demonstrated a refined sense for paralleling of artistic spaces, the present and the past, the sacral but also the agnostic, and even the atheistic…   
(Večer)

… Precision, elegance and suggestive power, without a single redundant ounce. It is hardly possible to experience something as suggestive as music and poetry which create in a person a perfect illusion that one has eluded death and that one’s spiritual dimension, interwoven in music and verse, will live forever…
(Primorske novice)

… incredible sensibility with the right measure of how musical and scenic elements are incorporated into a convincing corpus... Pleading for Words thus creates a mystical atmosphere without mystifying, reaches a hallowed status without allegory; the demanding repertoire was chosen without artistic hermetism, dramatic effect reached without being pathetic, set and costume design perfected without pompousness or even exhibitionism…
(Delo )

… presented a remarkable imaginative version of a contemporary cultural ritual which does not function merely as an aesthetic-utopian remake of similar past projects but also as a full-blooded synthesis of mythic, historical and current templates. There can hardly be done more; its final impact is now up to the sensibility of the audience…
(Delo)

… The performance by Karmina Šilec with the story about female souls Rusalkas accentuates scenic dominance; it was certainly very impressive…
… the choral spectacle was beautiful…
(Basellandschaftliche Zeitung)

… it is all harmonious, precise to such an extent that we can talk about a professionalism of the choir Carmina Slovenica, which in Rusalke, a performance rewarded with audience’s ovation, explores music-scenic relationships …
(Bündner Tagblatt)

… Karmina Šilec deserves exceptional credit for persistent and ambitious research of the new as well as the evoking of the old, for her convincing expeditions to the new sensing of the sounds, vocal techniques, different value hierarchies in the arts, and above all to decomposition of the stiff understanding of serious music. Serious? This terminology itself causes endless problems and the project Spixody finally "settled accounts" with this "unfortunate" seriousness. It was about time…
(Večer)

... we were witnesses to a top 'execution'...
(Dnevnik)

… The projects prepared by the conductor Karmina Šilec with 'her' choir Carmina Slovenica are becoming clearly recognizable: they are noted for being a combination of set design and movement elements as well as a carefully considered choice of repertoire, always round-up into a narrative whole, deriving mostly from contemporary creativity…
… Šilec’s choir is always stunning, this time in its absolute concentration and condition…
(Dnevnik)

… All singers have brilliantly performed with vocal and sound changes. Outstanding thereby was the attitude which went beyond music-technical skilfulness and changed into a deeply felt theatre parade, particularly when performing compositions openly flirting with humour and irony. It was an evening which brought in the most radical modernist breeze through humour, and thus proved that there is room in Slovenia for playful music quests...
(Dnevnik)

...  through a wide and diverse repertoire of compositions the ensemble sails with a masterful execution which requires wide technical range, clear diction, perfected extended singing techniques and full control of movement and acting abilities. … Not to slip on wet floor, the ensemble holds on to skilful setting and minimalist set design, as well as dedication, rare on Slovene ground when it comes to contemporary music.
Despite the demanding material they use lightness, playfulness and humour to reveal the historical nature of radical cuts with tradition.
The ensemble actualizes the relationship between word and music by introducing it into the space; with ‘music theatre’ performers not only brilliantly interpret the source material, but also go beyond the interpretative level and enter their own creative space...
(Delo)

… triumphal interpretative tours of our ensembles…
… sensitive and innovative conductor Karmina Šilec, determining new milestones of Slovene vocal performing practice… 
… closely approached the aesthetic ideal of a sublime angelic choir…
(Večer)

… A lecture in perfectionist execution and meaningfully chosen program. Karmina Šilec proved that it is possible to put on stage this kind of avant-garde that already borders academism in a splendidly entertaining form which could shortly be marked as neo-avant-garde vaudeville…
(Delo)

… Usually, actors are certainly not top singers, as is the case with all the performers of Stripsody.
Stripsody, however, equals and surpasses theater performances even in acting skills. There is simply absolute precision in performing – of voice, of mimic and of gestures. Movement in space is well thought out, well thought out are the costumes, hair styles, make-up – all together reminds us of an avant-garde cabaret soirée. Stripsody is in this sense – and also in all senses listed above – perfect…
(Večer)

… The profiled, refined, musically, choreographically and theatrically perfected performance evoked in us a mystery and magic of ceremonial festivities of indigenous beliefs…
… the superb presentation…
… The collective experience undoubtedly offers a deep respect for others who at the same time recognise possibilities for their own development. It is especially in the latter where the greatness of Karmina Šilec’s projects and the choir Carmina Slovenica lies…
(Primorski dnevnik)

… the stage became a place of colourful choral drawing ...
… making use of stage surface, use of lights or light ambience, choreography; at the same time, judging by the vocal execution, she remains a perfectionist…
… performance is best described as virtuosic: flawless intonation, crisp sound, brilliant, with refined movement (harmonious, resembling dance perfectionism in concluding moments), free-flowing, almost auto-hypnotic – defined by an energy flow of an utterly disciplined and ambitious team…
… the choir's performative skills are unique in Slovenia, therefore so impressive (the auditorium was in a state of delirium)…
(Delo)

… The grand stage of Cankarjev dom, open only to the "great ones", hosted once again the Carmina Slovenica choir, performing a major choral project by the author and conductor Karmina Šilec, Vampirabile. An artistic performance, a choral theatre from darkness to light. It almost resembles a Dante-esque Hell performed by a choir, featuring the magic wand of the conductor and artistic director Karmina Šilec…
(Večer)

... A programme without a moment of boredom, since it was jagged with contrasts, directed and choreographed all over the grand stage of Cankarjev dom, as if on a singing meadow full of colours, play of light, with shuddering sounds of music which flew toward a unified all-encompassing lyricism. The singing, direction, choreography and movement passing from singing with warm statics towards rhythmic precision, all coming together as a professional work on the highest level of stage efficiency.
… a vocal stage for connoisseurs and experts…
… We have not seen so much singing clarity and stage beauty in Cankarjev dom for a long time…
(Večer)

… An expressive metastasis, thrillingly and intensively spread into the silence and scream of the scene in the unique mythological perfection. Not just calculated, but precisely and consciously set under the choral and stage light. That was choir theatre turned inside and towards the scream outside, a straight line from a folk legend to the magic line of shocking naturalism. An achievement measured in all segments with the most perfect choral and scene messages…
(Večer)

 

… new sounds, new vocal techniques and means of expression, showed the point to which the voice can be dominant, with a dose of intellectual humor, is pronounced the most experimental play of the 12th  Teatarfest...
(from justification from award when Karmina Šilec’s project  Spixody by Ensemble Kebataola was pronounced the most experimental performance of the 12th Teatarfest Sarajevo festival in 2009.)

… Karmina Šilec with her fresh and original approach to choral singing has been enriching our cultural space for a number of years …
… She has reached one of the most convincing music-interpretative pinnacles with the project Vampirabile, performed with the choir Carmina Slovenica. Vampirabile represents a perfected choral message in all segments, consisting of work by several contemporary composers, brilliantly connected in a dramaturgically rounded narrative. Precise singing discipline, youthful energy, music-scenic ingenuity and artistic persuasiveness all distinguish the performance which spreads, creepily and intensely, into a silence and a scream of musical divination…
(from justification of Karmina Šilec receiving the Prešeren Fund Award)

 

 

 

Conductor

... jaw-droppingly gorgeous singing…
(New York Observer)

… the mighty but graceful Slovenian women’s choir…
(New York Music Daily)

… while intoning glorious straight harmonies, which occasionally stop on a dime to spine-tingling effect. The sound is medieval and ecclesiastical, yet distinctly modern. It often feels like peering into an avant-garde nunnery…
(Theatre Mania)

… radiantly sung musical selections…
(The New York Times)

... Šilec is savvy about maintaining dramatic momentum, and the performers execute every shift in tone with subtlety and agility...
(The New York Times)

... Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica: ensemble, directed by Karmina Šilec, that searches for and explores new forms of music and vocal techniques. Their singing is exquisite. And their movement is as disciplined as their music. There isn’t a step or note out of place …
(Aussie theatre)

… world renowned ‘Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica’...  the sweet, harmonious singing was the highlight for me... so delightfully charming was their work ... the theatrics and the beauty of music and glamour of vocals …
(Theatre review Melbourne. arts. fashion)

... singers with impressive skill. She transmutes their musicality into flowing and easy movement…
… It’s here and in the vast Brahmsian wall of sound — in the open, unresolved, pantonal chords — that the true character of the young women manifests itself. It is a fascinating emulsion of vocal certainty…
(The Australian)

... they were present, first of all, as artists: not only as singers, but as performers...
... And they sang. How they sang...
(ABC Arts)

...these performers are thrilling singers … musically brilliant concert...
(The Sidney Morning Herald)

… these vibrant young women have not only a glorious, harmonic vocal quality, but also a joyful commitment and vitality that makes this production captivating without it being profound or challenging ...
… Under the artistic direction of Karmina Šilec, the choir employs both the pure tones of classical vocal techniques as well as the raw sound of open throat singing that is common in Eastern European traditional songs ...
(Herald Sun)

… high level of vocal discipline …
(Basler Zeitung)

…Karmina Šilec with CS outlined a particularly glamorous music story… a brilliant performing body like no other in the world … 
Dnevnik

… Vocal theater Carmina Slovenica inspires with its high vocal art…
... incredible lightness – every note, every voice has its place...
… uniquely high artistic quality of the Slovene choir stunned the audience...
(Northwestschweiz)

... A single homogeneous body of sound with dynamism and energy potential, which, through the growing dynamics, we can literally grab on. It is extremely admirable; in this way unseen and unheard so far...
(Badishe Zeitung)

... As far as singing is concerned, many professionals of the old school could model themselves on the intonation confidence of the singers...
... European singing is reflected in outstanding impulsiveness, in the ability to create a full spectre of dynamics out of almost nothing, as well as the delicate feeling for modulation – the singing included also harmonic series towards the end. Karmina Šilec did a remarkable job as the artistic director of the choir...
... Musicians are extremely well prepared in terms of singing and technique. They sing wonderfully and sensually at the same time...
(Lublinski Kurier)

... the singers sing every song nothing short of staggering...
(De Volkskrant)

... like laser beems through the soul ... you have to hear and see it to be able to believe it...
(Parool)

... as soon as they open their mouths everything sounds what early and modern composers were able to create between angel’s song and atonal shiver...
(Cultuurpers)

... They perform astonishingly professionally and extremely precisely, each step, each word, each tone is perfectly placed. They are full of power and self-confidence...
... magnificent singing...
(Trierischer Volksfreund)

…  marvelling at the choral power of the cast – at one moment, towards the end of the show, they sing polyphonically with a visceral impact...
(Herald Scotland)

... Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica did not only do the job well, they were convincing with an almost perfect collaboration of the entire team, with their fascinating playfulness and, last but not least, with their voices which, in the best moments, blended into one to make a heavenly sound. Bravo!!!!...
...Under the artistic guidance of the conductress Karmina Šilec the Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica has developed into an internationally renowned choral body...
... Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica impresses with their outstanding precision in music and choreography...  
(Westfalen)

... chorus who exhibited both great technical skill in their singing and proved themselves highly disciplined thespians as well...
(Opera Lively)

... amazing vocal theatre Carmina Slovenica which fill the stage with relaxed bodiliness...
(Giornale Della Musica)

...  with that marvellous energy, composure and professionalism ... with astonishing perfection... 
(Le Monde)

... Getting in touch with Karmina Šilec, the artistic director of the choir Carmina Slovenica, Goebbels really fell love at first sight. The singers are extremely talented and disciplined. I have never come across a choir that would invest so much so profoundly into a project...  
(Les Inrockuptibles)

... The ensemble Carmina Slovenica prepared by Karmina Šilec – performed brilliantly: with crystal clear intonation...
(Kleine Zeitung)
 

… they are equipped with some kind of a deeply rooted, seemingly quite independent energy, that moves us...
... skilful brilliance that abounds in choral manoeuvres...
... With this group (conducted by Karmina Šilec) Goebbels – the 2012 Ibsen Prize winner – chose the right partner...
(Der Standard)


... a harmonious body of music, movement, theatre as well as outstanding performance of the singers moved the audience…
(Wiener Zeitung)

... one can hardly believe that these singers can evoke such vocal worlds. Strictly precize, impeccably structured, any yet at the same time so relaxedly performed choral singing encopassing various registers up to the overtone technique; occasionally it sounds like a wonderful echo of Gregorianistics, or reminds us from somewhere far away of the legendary "Mystère des voix Bulgares" ...
(Revierpassagen)

... Carmina Slovenica (under conductor Karmina Šilec) is a phenomenon in itself, with its mesmerising combination of steely discipline with exuberant physicality. The sound is often the hard-edged chesty bray we associate with women’s choirs from the former Eastern Bloc, but the singers can shift to clean, honey-toned romanticism or glassy polytonality in the blink of an eye...
(Financial Times)

... Karmina Šilec and the collective Carmina Slovenica whose performance at the Ruhrtriennale proved once again that they are the very top of choral music as well as vocal theatre or theatre of voices as such, not only setting its trends but also defining it all over again...
(Delo)

... the musical partner that can only search for an equal in Europe: Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica is the name of this fascinating choral formation from the Slovene Maribor...
(Neue Musik Zeitung)
 

… It is almost astounding with what skill, body control, precision and speed the girls perform, individually and as an ensemble, when they act, speak, sing...
... What the choir presents is highly professional and outshines even the passages that might occasionally seem almost too presumptuous and mouthy. The vital music-speech-movement theatre is a whole as it is and that is quite something...
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

... The art of choral singing of the choir, led by Karmina Šilec, but also their performing on stage, leave a strong impression. A big applause for the dedicated performing girls...
(Die Deutsche Bühne)

... The choir sings brilliantly, with crystal clear intonation, concentrated voice direction, rhytmic perfection, dynamic structural power, as well as colour and overtone richness...
(Theater PUR)

… etheric airy voices. The mere virtuosity of various changes of voice technique is admiring; choreographic perfection and acting intensity of the group, constantly producing individual soloists, is, however, breathtaking...
(Die Tageszeitung)

... With the singers who masterfully turn from one culture to another, and sometimes sound raw like some kind of rojenice - mythlogical beings foretelling the future, and immediately afterwards as gently as Japanese geishas, one without difficulties feels the beat of life of particular environments ...
(Primorske novice)

... The concert choir Carmina Slovenica is, without exaggeration, perfect. Despite having a body of singers resembling that of a chamber ensemble, it has got an incredibly wide scope: from always stable and accurate as well as unaspired pianissimo to a full-sounding forte… The singers are also good performers, incredibly relaxed and focused, which remains so until the end...
... Intonation is perfect throughout the concert, the timbre of the choir is compact and the vertical cleared … And last but not least, the singers can sing in various different vocal techniques …
(Pogledi)

... Carmina Slovenica with its powerful singing which places Slovenian music remarkably well into the scene...
(Schweizer Musikzeitung, Switzerland)

... it was certainly another display of outstanding performing abilities of the members of the !Kebataola! ensemble who, by using extended vocal techniques - where voice is considered an instrument and a convincing language in itslef, created a fascinating sound image within which word has its own inner alchemy, weight and colour...
(Delo)

... masters of complex rhythms, fine tuning in both tonal and dissonant repertoire, extended vocal techniques, dynamic variety, dance and gesture, and expressive communication...
(San Francisco Classical Voice)

... Fullness of expression and power of authenticity – artistic perfectionism and incredible creative energy of an artistic personae...
… Šilec understands it more as an expression of an ancient striving for the most elementary form of communication, as a "stepping down of Orpheus" in pursuing of an ur-sound, as a ritual, actually. The fullness of music expression in the vision of Karmina Šilec and her brilliant performers was revealed in a creative, all-encompassing liberation of individual improvisations and their natural connectedness with the overall execution...  
... A distinctly profound emotive engagement of the performers...
... fruit of artistic perfectionism...
(Večer)

… The weight on stage scales of music interpretation and music-scenic reach was of course one part of that well stored practice and lots of experience of the author of the project and conductor Karmina Šilec…
… The thought and the idea were unified, the stage fluid suggestive, the stage focus reflective, immediate, outlined in a creative and cooperative media space of behavior and knowledge, practice and wanting. 
... to the humane message of being under a spell of the laws of the time…
(Večer)

… the impulsive interpretation of the outstanding Karmina Šilec lifted it up to the level that was not reached by the otherwise good direction by Jernej Lorenci and an interesting (buto) choreography by Tanja Zgonc. Set design by Branko Hojnik and costume design by Belinda Škarica Radulović also found themselves in its shadow. Both choirs – the Opera and Ballet choir of the SNG Maribor and Carmina Slovenica – showed a brilliant performance …  
(Finance)

… It seems that this very ambivalence – between accentuated rational concentration and spiritual focus – is up the street of the author of the project, the conductor Karmina Šilec. She multiplied the opera choir, used to considerably less demanding scores, with Carmina Slovenica and thus created a reliable enough body beyond the everyday opera average. We were thus able to experience moments of eternal, simple beauty…
… achievement of Slovene music creativity and music interpretation…
(Dnevnik)

… Carmina Slovenica choir was again almost painfully perfect. The girls can do practically everything: technical infallibility, the changing of colour and expression, the adjusting of interpretation. Interpretations of medieval chants raised far above the dreariness of the scores. Karmina Šilec found in them far more music impulses that can be imagined at all… 
(Dnevnik)

... The choir and the conductor have undoubtedly reached towards moments of light, pure and inquisitive stylistic touch...
... studious perfection...
... What about the execution? Šilec knew how to invite beautiful, linearly transparent sound out of the string section. Cantus In Memory of Benjamin Britten was graded really well...
(Delo)

...  this was a persuasively balanced project...
O Successores is an interesting and extensive musical project in which the conductor Karmina Šilec once again showed that her choir's ambitions extend far beyond simply beautiful singing – into the unknown, the unexplored. In the imaginary intersections – of time and timelessness, of less- or even unknown composers, with the famous Estonian Arvo Pärt – she successfully fused the veiled, mysterious medieval creativity with contemporary expressions. With a feeling for a long knocking of the internal musical motive, she subtly layered older strata, intertwining them with new vibrations and, in spite of the dictated scarcity of sound, she reached full clarity and colourful vibrancy of the choir, vocal and instrumental harmony, an expression of bitter beauty, quiet pain, a state of spleen...
(Finance)

… Carmina Slovenica built the performance, moving from the spiritual and folk intonation to the bold creations by contemporary composers. They have shown themselves skilled performers in a spectacular and skillfully used [modern] techniques: beading atonality, minimalist repetition, polyphony vocalic sounds... The Slovenes were playful, intricately moved around the stage and showed a fresh, youthful readiness for dialogue of cultures...
(Kommersant )

... a magnificent choir talent...
... The most fascinating is the sound that the singers unveil throughout the performance.
The change of registers, the throat singing techniques, natural accessories and cultivated articulation seem so obvious and simple, as though they were a spontaneous game, an everyday form of communication...
... a 'global' musical experience...
...Karmina Šilec with Carmina Slovenica has transcended the boundaries of spiritual parcels, which formed over the centuries, and finally returned the (musical) world back into the realm of oneness, togetherness, and what is warmly ours...
(Primorske Novice)

... a superb musical scenario ...
... The powerful synthesis of singing and instruments as a logical complement and an integral musical outline...
... exploring trips into new choral and theatrical expanses...
... We marvelled at the singing and the programme passages, rhythmic accuracy, the fabrics of movement which were happening on stage for the first time. And to no hesitation that Karmina Šilec is in the new sonic role just as methodical and determined as she has been for a long time with "her" singers. The performance made us feel the powerful synthesis of singing and the instrumental as a logical completion and integral musical outline. All together as an explicit innovation,...
... choir and now orchestra reached such artistic and popular perfection...
... Carmina Slovenica and Karmina Šilec are not only names. They are an artistic phenomenon...
(Večer)

... these inner voices raised above the ritual of the evening of immensely skilled singers and musicians of Carmina Slovenica...
(Dnevnik)

... Sharp mind, convincing and flexible musicality, but most of all a consistency of ideas... are the elements that the conductor Karmina Šilec brings...
... constant success when talking about bigger choral projects. And the latest project is also a tectonic choral shift with striking excellence...
... with the reliable compass of the conductor Karmina Šilec...
(Večer)

... It is logical that the singers, under the direction of Karmina Šilec, youthfully unconcerned, tackled the most demanding scores from all periods...
... an achieved level globally, that we are barely able to follow...
(Delo)

... The conductor has a rear suggestive power; she knows what she wants at any time... her view of the contemporary European choral culture goes beyond the merely national, however artistically high level that we have never had before, but her goal is not what has already been achieved, the repeating and reconstructing of tradition, but the exploring in all directions of historic perspectives of choral culture...
... A perfect blend of voices, correct singing techniques (breathing), the ability of dynamic shading in the spectral sound arch that totally fills up the big concert hall and impregnates it with human voices; a detailed study of a really demanding and difficult programme, performed by heart, the self-confidence, deliberation, dedication and hope of a generation to come. What more would you like from these young girls!?...
(Delo)

... Carmina Slovenica from Maribor and its conductor Karmina Šilec know no interpretative boarders, no borders for ideas, compositions and themes...
(Delo)

... The Carmina Slovenica singing is always hosanna to the one and only god – to the god of the purest art. That is all...
(Primorske novice)

... The CS choir, led by the prominent musician Karmina Šilec has, by performing medieval scores ranging from monophony to organum, importantly and flexibly expanded its repertoire format; with the solos the girls were able to catch the track of our folk song quite well. The voices of both ensembles created an extremely rich and artistically penetrating evening, ranging among the topmost, and most importantly author-independent events of this summer...
(Dnevnik)

... choirs were directed by Karmina Šilec. Her musical composure and swanlike harmonic skill of hand movement gives the choir the freshness that fills us with beautiful feelings … Expert knowledge (almost) always bears good fruit ... under the artistic direction of the excellent conductor the singers reached the comfort of an extremely high quality presentation...
(Delo)

... The choir, led by the reliable as well as temperamental Karmina Šilec, has in all areas created achievements that are respectable – intonation, differentiation and diction, for example – far above the average...
(Berner Zeitung)

... Impeccable intonation and clarity of voices, sometimes mellow, at other times thunderous, which have swept the audience off their feet...
(L’est Rest Republikain)

... Karmina Šilec was granted the Glazer Credential for her distinctive achievements in the field of music...

... Karmina Šilec received the ‘Music Theatre Now’ award for the performance of Lojze Lebič’s From Time Immemorial... in the category Muisc Beyond Opera performed by the Opera and Ballet Maribor...

...The Board of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor awarded a special prize to Karmina Šilec for an outstanding contribution to the recognition of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor in 2008... 

... Karmina Šilec is awarded the Robert Edler Prize for choral music...
 

... Artistic and pedagogic achievements of Karmina Šilec reach the highest level of creative work with the young, and she is considered to have an important role and a strong influence on the development of world choral movement...

... Its basic element is full comprehension of Slovenian music and, in a broader sense, Slovenian spiritual heritage; the choir applies this awareness to modern creative forms of expression. With interpreting synthesis of folk songs, dance and music, the choir manages to avoid the usual trap of pursuing nostalgia, or transforming into a 'living museum'. Folk heritage for Carmina Slovenica forms a model for today's creativity and creations, which comprise characteristics, features, particularities and differences – ingredients that are essential for creating modern life enriched with the dimensions of heritage … in Maribor, in Slovenia and the world! ...
(on receiving The Ford Award for preservation of natural and cultural heritage for the project Slovenian Sounds)
 

... The conductor Karmina Šilec has achieved wide international success with her creative approach to choral singing in the last few years...
... Apart from praise for the outstanding quality of both choirs, their conductor Karmina Šilec has been awarded with special awards for artistic impression and innovative approach to choral literature...
... A quality that should particularly be pointed out is her sensibility and talent for execution of contemporary choral music...
(Karmina Šilec on receiving the Golden Bird award for a creative approach to choral singing)

... Karmina Šilec - International choral competition Naša pesem 1994 – special prize for Best Execution of Free Programme...-

...   International competition Kathaumixw 92 in Powell River, Canada: "Most outstanding choir of Kathaumixw 94", first place in the category "Chamber Choir" and "Youth Choir", second place in the category "Contemporary Music" and "Folklore"...

... Tampere Vocal Music Festival, Finland – the jury award for artistic impression...

... European Music Festival, Neerpelt, Belgium – the "Summa cum laude" prize ...
 

 ... International competition Naša pesem – golden plaque...

... International choral competition, Llangollen, Wales, Great Britain – First prize...

... International competition, Montreux, Switzerland – first prize, special jury award...

 

 

 

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