The female choir CARMINA was established in the mid-winter of 1989 in Tallinn. Now in our 34th season as of 2022/2023, the choir consists of 21 singers. Carmina was founded by the conductor Margit Võsa. Since its birth, our choir has sung in all the Estonian Song Festivals, as well as in the song festivals and grand projects organised by the Estonian Female Choir Association (ENLS).
Carmina holds concerts throughout Estonia, but we mainly sing in the churches and concert halls of Tallinn. Our choir competes in the A-category of Estonian female choirs contests, and we have always placed in the top six rankings of this category’s contests. In 2018 Carmina shared third place with the Female Choir of Estonian Conductors. Carmina’s tradition is to hold an annual spring concert in Niguliste Church or in the Blackheads’ House and a Christmas concert in the Church of the Holy Spirit or in Swedish St Michael’s Church. St Jacob’s Church in Viimsi has also often been a welcoming space for our concerts and recordings.
Carmina often engages promising young musicians, and we have dedicated concerts exclusively to French, Finnish or Russian music and poetry. We have also hosted and participated in joint projects with other choirs.
Despite our singers not being professional musicians, Carmina has often put itself to the test with challenging and complex repertoires (see naiskoor-carmina.eu/REPERTUAAR). Among the songs specifically written for Carmina, this CD presents pieces dedicated to the choir by the composers Aare Kruusimäe and Mart Siimer.
International choir festivals
Carmina has successfully competed in many international choir competitions during our numerous singing trips abroad. International choir festivals and contests that Carmina has participated in:
- 1994 Oskarshamn, Sweden
- 1994 Tallinn, Estonia
- 1995 Marktoberdorf, Germany
- 1996 Maasmechelen, Belgium
- 1998 Barcelona, Spain
- 2003 Camerino, Italy (golden and silver medal)
- 2005 Nancy, France
- 2007 Tallinn, Estonia
- 2007 Preveza, Greece (bronze medal)
- 2009 Barcelona, Spain (golden medal, the Festival’s grand prix)
- 2012 Montreux, Swiss
- 2013 Tallinn, Estonia
- 2015 Llangollen, Wales
- 2018 Fundao, Portugal
- 2023 Tbilisi, Georgia
Conductor of Carmina
The conductor and founder of the Female Choir Carmina is Margit Võsa. She works in the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. After graduating from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre as a Master of Music, she has completed additional studies at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. She has undertaken creative research in her profession related to the female choir Carmina. She has also been a conductor for the Tallinn Chamber Choir (1996–2002). Margit has acted as the general conductor of female choirs for the song festivals organised by the Estonian Female Choir Association. In 2014 Margit was selected to be the chairwoman of the Estonian Female Choir Society, and she is continuing in this position for her third term now.
She has been the initiator of a number of the ENLS’s singing projects engaging several female and male choirs. In 2015 and 2016 she organised concerts of Max Filke’s Missa in G-Dur in honorem Sancti Caroli Borromaei op. 80, which was performed in Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu. The 98th anniversary of Estonia was celebrated with a tour of choirs to Saint Petersburg and Riga. In April 2018 the combined women’s and men’s choir tour ’Hoia, Jumal Eestit’ was dedicated to Estonia’s 100th anniversary of independence and concerts were held in the most revered churches of Turku, Stockholm and Riga. The same creative team, which included Andrus Siimon as the creative director, also produced Christmas concerts in Tallinn and Tartu in December 2018.
In 2017, under the leadership of Margit Võsa, the Arvo Ratassepp Foundation was established for the benefit of conductors. In 2018 Margit Võsa was awarded the Order of the White Star Fifth Class by Estonia’s President Kersti Kaljulaid.
The choir’s first CD “The Female Choir Carmina” was issued in 2005, the second „Carmina. Near and Far“ in 2011, third “Carmina With Love” 2019.