Who we are
The vocal ensemble Acanto is a mixed chamber choir located in Berlin-Moabit. Since 2022 we are a group of up to 24 singers who are involved in making music under the artistic direction of Helga Delgado. In everyday life we are doctors, graphic designers, translators and lawyers, our age ranges between 30 and 65 years. And yet, week after week, Helga knows how to emerge us into semi-professional musicians. It is due to her professionalism, sensitivity and her incomparable positive nature which motivates and inspires us to strive for more improvement for her sake.
Acanto is Italian and means acanthus, also known as hercules herb or hogweed. The serrated leaves of the plant have been found on temples, sculptures and other works of art since ancient times. In the case of Acanto, the acanthus leaves represent up to eight-part, artfully interwoven singing. While during the foundation years of the ensemble in 2010 the music was focused on the madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi and other works of the Renaissance, today we dedicate ourselves to the entire range of classical choral music.
What do we sing
with never-ending enthusiasm? Quite a few of us have been singing here for more than ten years. We enjoy the “Missa Aeterna Christi munera” by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina just as much as the “Garden Songs” by Fanny Hensel, the “Gloria” by Antonio Vivaldi and the “Five Flower Songs” by Benjamin Britten. Acanto is open for experiments and also ventures into demanding choral works such as Lili Boulanger’s “Vieille prière bouddhique” or Ursula Mamlok’s “Mosaics”.
Secular and spiritual at times, a cappella and with accompaniment at other times: Our five-member program group selects the works performed in cooperation with our choir director Helga Delgado. While our focus is set on Romantic music, we like to contrast this with works from the 20th and 21st centuries. Choral symphonic works such as Sergei Rachmaninov’s “Aleko” or Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger’s “Cantus Missae” can aswell be on our rehearsal schedule.
When and where we sing
We present our concerts with special topics two to three times a year at selected concert locations in Berlin and Brandenburg. Before the performances we finalize our repertoire during an intensive rehearsal weekend in Berlin or the surrounding area. Acanto regularly takes part in the Sunday concerts of the Berlin Choir Association and gives concerts with other ensembles. Our voice trainer Rainer Killius is a lyric baritone and composer. With persistence, know-how and good humor, he ensures that the singing quality of our vocal groups continually improves.
Our rehearsals take place on Tuesdays in the community hall of the Heilige-Geist-Kirche in Berlin-Moabit. The rehearsals start at 7:30 p.m. and last until around 9:30 p.m.