Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares perform in ancient abbey near Udine, June 28th, 2013

Grammy award winner in 1990, the choir of the Bulgarian State Television, known as “Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares”, has performed over a thousand concerts in the most prestigious concert halls in the world (the choir also appeared once on the Johnny Carson Show). 

The choir this time played in the splendid cloister of the Abbey of Rosazzo, located near Udine (a 90-minute show worth 22 songs, and all sung in a cappela too).  It’s specialized in traditional Bulgarian contemporary and popular music and is made up of over twenty women who sing in traditional costumes which represent the different regions of Bulgaria.  The so-called “mystery” in the choir’s name lies in the ability to combine harmonious singing with the dissonance impact at second intervals. 

Fans of these cultural ambassadors of the European Union include musicians such as  Kate Bush, Abba and also David Byrne


The origins of the Abbey are rather contentious and not fully validated by written records.  Tradition has it that a hermit settled in the area in the year 800 to find peace to construct an oratory and a cell. This atmosphere of spiritual tranquility attracted an increasing number of the faithful, the number of cells increased.  The oratory eventually became a monastery.  In 1070 the church dedicated to Saint Peter was inaugurated. In 1090 the monastery of Rosazzo was elevated to the status of Abbey and in the following year Augustinian rule was suppressed and replaced by Benedictine rule.

In the Middle Ages the Abbey took on an important economic function in addition to its role of spiritual guidance.

After more than 300 years the Benedictine monks left the abbey.  In 1522 the Dominicans established themselves in the Abbey and remained there for 248 years.  The ancient Abbey is also surrounded by some mighty fine wine vineyards.

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