What Romani children lack is the sense of being welcome in the society. Their journey out of the vicious circle of living in the settlements and city ghettos into a world where they are expected to do things, where they can find confidence and achieve, is one of the hardest imaginable. The Čhavorenge choir represents an environment motivating them to pursue their dreams and give their life paths meaning." With this creed, Ida Kelarová has been collaborating with the Czech Philharmonic for the past five years. The result is a project that gives a number of children the above-mentioned hope. What has been achieved? Almost forty concerts have taken place in the Rudolphinum in Prague (in collaboration with Jiří Bělohlávek, Alice Nellis, Martha Issová and others). Performances and workshops have been given in other places all over the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Most importantly, however, this project has influenced lives of numerous Romani children and youngsters. By participating in it, they relate to their own cultural roots, experience self-esteem and discover their unique life paths. After several summer camps called "Romano drom" (Romani way) held in East Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Čhavorenge set out to record a CD in collaboration with the Czech Philharmonic and many guests. The catchy, extremely lively but at times also sad tunes emanate an energy that hardly anybody can resist. The generously conceived booklet features song lyrics including translations and also documents the whole project. Reflections written by participants provide hope that people of various ethnic backgrounds can not only live "side by side", but truly together, enriching and inspiring one another.
Roma children's choir and the Czech Philharmonic - how does it go together? Listen and see for yourselves!
Čhavorenge - the stirring energy of Romani songs as well as hope for many Romani children.
“The music is largely sunny and couched in a popular vernacular some way removed from the more resinous intensities and melancholy of Gypsy folklore.”
MusicWeb International, July 2018