International Initiative for Development for Ethnic Art

APSORA choir

The international choir of non-professional singers APSORA (translated from Romanes as "Teardrops") was founded by Ida Kelarová in 2003 and features participants of the International School of Voice. The number of main members of the choir has amounted to nearly 50 singers in the Czech Republic alone. Apsora has performed at hundreds of charity concerts and festivals around the Czech Republic and abroad, and recorded its own album.

The charity concerts have supported the projects of MIRET, mainly the summer camps for Roma and non-Roma children from children's homes, taking place at castle Svojanov since 2002.

The APSORA choir was, at one point, the only choir that performed traditional Romani music. The repertoire was built on songs written by the Romani composer and teacher Desideria Dužda who, together with the band Romano Rat, accompanied the choir during concerts and performances.

The unexpected popularity and firm grasp of the essential idea of Ida Kelarová's working methods produced spectacular performances of traditional Romani ballads. The audience was swept away even though a majority of them did not understand a word of Romanes.

By singing we fight to overcome racism, discrimination and the fear of the unknown. At the same time we encourage the Roma to persevere, not to wallow in their self-pity with a passive approach to life. To take responsibility for their culture, work and face the future, fight for better living conditions for their children and not to succumb to the curse of their past. We encourage us all to offer an opportunity to those who are different from us to enable them to present and establish themselves as self-respecting individuals.

The Apsora choir has gathered a group of people who do not turn a blind eye to problems the world is facing today and believe that children are our future. Their priority has become to support and cooperate with the Romani civic association MIRET. In January 2005, another Apsora choir was founded in Germany. It was built on the same principles of supporting Roma children from homes by holding charity concerts. Similarly, the Israeli Apsora was created in May the same year. Its activities served mainly to support children in the CZ, but also children in Israel and Palestine. In autumn 2005, the Slovakian Apsora followed, then Switzerland, Denmark and Austria. The social message of the choir has become international.

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