Aquarius the story
|AQUARIUS – running for concertEverything is achievable – dreams are to be fulfilled….Who are we?Aquarius was founded in September 2006 by Birgit Westgaard – our managing director, and Birgit Aune – our musical conductor.
Their goal was to gather creative, musically experienced and song-devoted “girls” into a vocal ensemble, emphasizing rhythmic choir music.
Today Aquarius counts 32 women from the city area of Askim – located in the south eastern part of Norway.
Birgit Aune – our conductor has her educational background from music conservatories both in Norway and Denmark. She has a broad occupational background as song and piano teacher as well as conductor and musical leader of several choirs. When Aquarius was started, she had already established contact with
Marius Holth a Norwegian singer with a unique and impressive vocal technique. He is educated
in France – “Roy Hart Theatre” and in Copenhagen, Denmark – “The Complete Vocal Institute”.
He is espescially known in Norway for his interpretation and performance of the songs and
music of Jacques Brel.
Marius has become the musical motivator and mentor of Aquarius. With his exceptional skills he has, together with Birgit, greatly increased the level of performance and vocal ability of each and every one of the Aquarius members.
Birgit and Marius realised the potential of Aquarius to gradually take on new and more demanding challenges. They both had great admiration and affection for the music made by “Queen” and Freddy Mercury. Why not start to dig into “Barcelona”?
Marius had previously worked together with Karin Ten Cate – a Dutch soprano of international standards. She had thorough experience with “Barcelona” from several performances also including cooperation with The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra.
On the annual “Oslo Opera Festival” in September 2007 both “Barcelona” and “Golden Boy” from the rock-opera “Barcelona”, were performed by Aquarius with Marius and Karin as soloists. They were accompanied by a group of professional musicians led by Torhild Fimreite – an awarded Norwegian pianist. It was an immediate success and led to months of hard work to fulfil the dream of staging the entire rock-opera “Barcelona”. This took place on new-year’s eve 2008. The immediate response was beyond any expectation. The performance was regarded a mile-stone for what could be regarded achievable for semi-professionals.
A temporary climax in the history of Aquarius was reached when the vocal group visited as guests, the annual “Queen” celebration in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in January 2009. Once again the entire “Barcelona” was performed and highly appreciated by hundreds of dedicated “Queen” fans present.
Further work and practise to perfect the Mercury and “Queen” repertoire is of vital importance.
Local and regional performances are under further planning. The future appears to be exciting…..