The Great Union Choir was founded in Iași on the 1st of December 2017, which is an all-male choral ensemble consisting of 24 members, whose conductor is maestro Andrei Fermeșanu. Due to its repertoire, comprising a wide variety of Romanian patriotic and folk songs, this choir is a supporter and promoter of Romanian national values.
The emergence of the Great Union Choir in the choral music context springs from the legitimate desire to celebrate the deeds of our historical past and their ideal-edifying words, the highest expression of which is the Unification of 1918 and the birth of Greater Romania. The cornerstone of the choir was laid on the first day of December 2017 when the manager of Iași Atheneum, Andrei Apreotesei, established its institutional affiliation.
The musical direction is entrusted to the conductor Andrei Fermesanu, a graduate of ‘George Enescu’ National University of the Arts in Iași, but also of ‘Dumitru Stăniloae’ Faculty of Orthodox Theology within ‘Alexandru Ioan Cuza’ University. His passion for interpreting choral sounds is intertwined with his solo career, as the tenor Andrei Fermeșanu is also an artist of the Romanian National Opera House in Iași.
The Great Unification Choir brings together 24 male voices, students or graduates of the Faculties of Theology or Conservatory as well as permanent members of vocal ensembles affiliated to cultural musical institutions in Iași: the National Opera House and the Moldova Philharmonic Orchestra.
Its repertoire eulogizes the patriotic feeling, folk ethos and prayer or worship. Thus, they mainly perform equal-voice songs belonging to Romanian composers on themes included in the triad defining national identity.
Their uniforms of obvious military reference are stylizations of the Romanian army uniforms in the First World War, for soldiers and officers alike, and are aimed at a syncretic artistic expression.
‘The costumes designed for the Great Unification Choir of the Atheneum in Iași were inspired by the military uniforms of the First World War – 1914 -1918. These were mainly gray/blue, which was the color of French uniforms of the time. Over time, due to the unavailability or high prices of the painting pigment, they all became grayish.
Thus, the “uniforms” of the soldiers from the Hunting Regiments and the Infantry Regiments (Pitul Dolhăscu, Vali Călugărici, Teodor Cristofor, Olivian, Șapcă Gheorghe) were in fact reinterpretations adapted to current fabrics and the overall artistic image of the choir. They are in fact stylizations of the uniforms of the soldiers of that time.
The Roșiori majors (Andrei Romilă, Lucian Modan, Silviu Stratulat, Radu Dumitru) had costumes based on the colors of the uniforms of that time (gray tunic, black trousers with braid), in which the gold/silver accessories played an important role in recreating the romantic atmosphere.
The Roșiori soldiers (Bogdan Movilă, Lucian Dolhăscu, Mihai Rusu, Mădălin Păsărin) wore classical combinations of this uniform – white/red with black inserts applied according to the original design.
Likewise, the Roșiori officers (Alex Constantin, Rotariu Andrei) had costumes within the same chromatic range, distinguished by specific golden accessories.
Stylized badges and decorations, as well as specific belts and shoes also played an important role in creating the parade image.
Three characters stand out for the uniqueness of their costumes, recognizable in shape and color:
– Gheorghiță Rusu – Persic – costume inspired by the uniform of General Berthelot.
– Andrei Fermeșan – costume inspired by the uniform of the Tsar Nicholas II.
– Ciprian Rusu – costume inspired by the clothes of the priests on the front.
Three images of characters who played an important role in the First World War.
Victor Zaharia and Alex Savin had costumes based on the uniforms of senior officers – divisional generals.
For a better stylistic unity of the choir members, we combined shades of gray and gray or black trousers a little differently, so as to achieve a romantic balance.’- Alina Dincă Pușcaș
The inaugural concert of the Great Union Choir took place on 27 March 2018, within the ‘100 years of the Unification of Bessarabia with the Motherland’ event held in the Grand Hall of ‘Vasile Alecsandri’ National Theater in Iași, where the choir had the honor to sing on the same stage as the ‘Madrigal Marin Constantin’ National Chamber Choir. The next performance of the choir was on April 25, for the 98-year celebration of the founding of the Atheneum. Once again, the ‘Radu Beligan’ Grand Hall of the Atheneum hosted the members of the choir, on 16 May 2018, during the ‘Grigore Vieru’ International Poetry Festival and on July 13, for the 150-year celebration of the turning on of the Electric Sun in Iași, through a new mini recital hosted by the Grand Hall of Iași City Hall.