The activity of the Association “Octava Aurea” has been developing thanks to the musical experience of its Artistic/Musical Director, Mario Cecchetti, tenor and cellist, as well as Headmaster of the Music School in Città di Castello, Umbria, Italy, who has been collaborating with a small group of lovers of music and young singers’ parents. Much before organizing itself into a Cultural Association, the initial nucleus of the Choir was built around an ensemble of boys’/girls’ voices in February 2009, for the staging of Benjamin Britten’s opera “The little sweep”, commissioned by the Festival delle Nazioni in Città di Castello for its 42nd edition, with stage design and direction from Teatro “Pavarotti” of Modena.
During the following years, the “Octava Aurea” Choir has recorded a CD of Christmas’ carols in several languages (in collaboration with two Music Schools) and given several concerts in many Umbrian locations (such as Sala dei Notari in Perugia, the Cathedral in Città di Castello, the Cathedral in Narni, Aula Magna of the University for Foreigners Perugia – in collaboration with the orchestra of the Music School in Città di Castello – the Upper Basilica of San Francis Church in Assisi and the Basilica of S.Maria degli Angeli – in collaboration with the tenor Friar Alessandro Brustenghi). In August 2011, members of the “Octava Aurea” Choir have participated in the staging of the opera “La piccola vedetta lombarda” by the contemporary composer Cristian Carrara, commissioned by the 44th edition of the Festival delle Nazioni in Città di Castello. A project aimed at creating a Juvenile Choir started in 2007, with a concert of music by Domenico Zipoli (with solists, choir and orchestra), followed by the performance of “Messa da Requiem” by Domenico Cimarosa (with solists, choir and orchestra). In summer 2011, “Octava Aurea” Choir gave a concert of music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Caldara (with solists, choir and orchestra) in which, for the first time, our children interpreted the soprano section of a mixed Choir.
Thanks to the support by “Brunello e Federica Cucinelli” Foundation, and with the Patronage of the Municipality of Perugia, Octava Aurea Association has started its artistic activity on September 4th, 2013 with the concert “Pastori e pastorelle”, pastoral poetry in music from XVII and XVIII Century, in collaboration with Ensemble Scuola Comunale di Musica “G.Puccini” and with Schola Cantorum A.M.Abbatini, at Chiostro San Domenico, Città di Castello, Festival delle Nazioni. In September 2013, the Association has started the Singing School, which is now at the third academic year. In June 2014, Octava Aurea Choir has participated at the first representation of In cosa ti somiglio, musical theater by Raffaele Sargenti, at Cucinelli Theater in Solomeo. This opera has also been staged in Bologna in April 2017 in collaboration with Department of Arts Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna (DAMS). In July 2015, the Juvenile Choir has won the silver medal and the 4th place of A category at the IV International Choral Festival “InCanto Mediterraneo” and the 2nd place at III IRENE’ International Contest of Sacred Music at Chivasso (Turin).
During the Academic Year 2015-16, the important cultural project “Mettiamoci all’Opera!” has started, with the aim of spreading the knowlege of lyric opera and choral singing among children of Primary and Secondary Schools. Thanks to the adaptation of great lyric operas in Italian language, students have the opportunity to improve their knowledge of the story, music and messages of musical international masterpieces, also interacting with the actors and singers during the show. The Magic Flute by W.A.Mozart (and E.Schikaneder) has been expressely adaptated in a reduced Italian version for the pupils of “Octava Aurea” Singing School and the students of the 5th year of the 6th Circolo Didattico di Perugia, who have participated in the first representation of the opera at Teatro Cucinelli in Solomeo, Saturday May 28th, 2016 at 11:00 am. The opera has been performed for the public in the afternoon of Saturday 28th May, at Teatro Cucinelli, and on Sunday May 29th at Teatro degli Illuminati in Città di Castello.
In September 2017, “Octava Aurea” Female Ensemble is again collaborating with the Festival delle Nazioni di Città di Castello (50th edition) with the concert “Frauenstimmen” – the female vocality betweeen the XIXth and the beginning of the XXth century.
Thanks to an agreement with Coro Polifonico Felciniano, the Association has started in October 2016 a second section of its Singing School, at Ponte Felcino (PG), under the direction of Chiara Franceschelli.
Associazione “Octava Aurea” – Perugia – email@example.com –