The Academy of Popular Cultural Traditions and Choral Singing – Female Polyphonic Choir “Sa Pintadera” was officially born in January 2009 (but was already formed in April of the previous year) and is composed of about 30 elements from different parts of Sardinia united by a passion for music. It is a choir with four female equal voices composed of sopranos, mezzo sopranos, first altos and second altos. The choir is guided from the beginning by the experience and expertise of Maestro Costantino Mirai.
The experiences of the choir have been and still are varied, and are placed at regional, national and international level. After a first period of about two years, in which the choir performed within the borders of the Sardinian region,”, comes the first really important experience, with the participation in the twelfth edition of the “International Choral Festival of folk songs of Europe” in Barcelona, in September 2010. On this occasion the choir deserved an Honorable Mention for the performance of the “Ninna Nanna”, on a text by Raimondo Murru and music by Maestro Mirai.
The activities of the SA PINTADERA Choir in the Regional and International context can be summarized as follows:
- 8 March (WOMEN’S DAY) Since 2014 the choir, on the eighth of March, organizes: “Donne inCanto”, a review of only female choirs from various parts of Sardinia. The event also aims to give a contribution and recognition to the figure of women in the field of art, culture and professions.
- Easter Festivities realization of a Sacred Easter Representation in which alternate Pieces on the Passion of Christ and songs set to music by Maestro Costantino Mirai.
- The Magic of the Solstice, summer festival, which every year takes place between 20-21-22 June with the participation, in addition to the Sa Pintadera Choir of musical ensembles
- The month of July and August is dedicated to participation in national and international festivals (Since 2010 Barcelona; 2011the participation in the Ohrid Choir Festival, which takes place annually in the beautiful Macedonian town of Ohrid, on the homonymous lake, while in October 2012 the choir was a guest of the Circolo dei Sardi “Su nuraghe” of Biella, on the occasion of the participation in the VIII National Choir Competition “Città di Biella”; 2015 participation in the Festival International “The Enchanted Castles” in different cities of Lazio, including the Vatican and Rome. 2018 Budapest International Festival; 2019 International Festival of Tuscany.
- Settembre Oristanese and OttobrEventi, in collaboration with the Department of Culture of the city of Oristano is held “IL CONCORSO DEL GIUDICATO”, for female and mixed choirs that perform with songs of sardinian popular traditions.
- December sees the realization of the Review “Anghelos Cantende Christmas Review, now in its twelfth edition in 2019.
At the Regional level the choir has participated in various festivals and events. In May 2011 he was a guest of the television program “Anninnora”, conducted by Giuliano Marongiu on Sardegna1. Since 2012, in the splendid setting of the rural church of San Giovanni dei Fiori, the choir has given life to a musical event on the occasion of Open Monuments. This initiative was renewed in 2013 and the choir performed in the church of S. Martino and in the theater of the same name and the same appointment was renewed in 2014.
The repertoire of the choir is mainly based on popular songs, both unpublished and traditional, of sacred and profane scope. Particularly interesting is the tendency to mix genres, in the wake of one of the purposes declared in the Statute of the choir, namely experimentation. It is from this trend that songs were born in which a text in sardinian language has been grafted on a music decidedly different from the traditional ones of our land: songs like the Halleluja of L.Cohen, offenbach’s Barcarolle, O Fortuna, taken from Orff’s Carmina Burana, thanks to the expert and sensitive intervention of the Choir Master have become extraordinary pieces of choral singing in the Sardinian language. The first becomes Alleluia, a vida de amore, reharmonized and grafted on the words of a text composed by Maestro Mirai himself; the other two are transformed respectively into a sweet Lullaby ‘e Nadale with the words of Su ninnidu by Martis and in Pianghidemi sos chi m’istimades, on words by Giovannandrea Carboni, Salvatore Meloni and Giuseppe Raga. Always from the desire to experiment also comes the commitment to realize songs in Latin and in foreign languages (Spanish, Macedonian). But, of course, there is no shortage of more traditional songs, from A Nanni Sulis (Nanneddu meu) to Badde lontana and Muttos de amore, from Sonos ‘e memoria to Deus ti salvet Maria, from ave Maria algherese to all the most famous Christmas repertoire chid est, Anghelos cantade) written and harmonized specifically for the choir.
Master Costantino Mirai
The great variety of musical pieces performed by the choir has a strong point in the training of Maestro Costantino Mirai, who, after obtaining a diploma in opera singing at the State Institute of High Musical Culture “G.P. da Palestrina” of Cagliari, under the guidance of Professor Rosy Orani, has dedicated himself to the study of choral conducting and composition, with teachers of the Conservatory of Cagliari (G. Saba, F. Oppo), Maestro Sandro Sanna and teachers of the Conservatory of Sassari. He sang as a first tenor in the choir of the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari from ’92 to ’96 and regularly attends courses in conducting, chamber singing, Gregorian chant and liturgical music in Sardinia and the peninsula, with internationally renowned masters such as Pier Paolo Scattolin and Cristian Gentilini of the Bologna Conservatory, Masters Peter Phillips and Gillain Morgan of the Tallis School in London, Gary Graden, conductor of the Stockholm National Choir, Andrea O. Veneracion, director of the Madrigal Singers (Philippines) and world deputy director of polyphonic choirs; Guido Milanese, teacher of Gregorian chant at the courses of Arenzano (Liguria), Valentino Donella and others. Currently he is artistic director not only of the choir “Sa Pintadera”, but also of the choir “Vadore Sini” of Sarule, of the “Coro Polifonico Palmarese” of Palmas Arborea, of the polyphonic choir “Corale del Sinis” and Male Choir of Solanas.