Everything began 15 years ago with a woman’s dream – to create, from scratch, a Barbershop chorus here in Algarve, where nobody knew what it was about.
What? Singing with the barbers, in their shops? Well, it’s more about singing acapella in close harmony around four voices and it’s overwhelming! And you can do it in a barbershop, no problem. It’s actually its origins, but that’s another story…
So, here in the Algarve, in 2008, under the strong and enthusiastic direction of Sylvy Keenan-Wilks, Bella Acapella was born and grew little by little, steadily and joyfully.
When Sylvy went back home to England, she entrusted the chorus to the Portuguese Isabel Matos, and then our Dutch Rob Does took over. And for six years now, he is the beloved, inspiring, moving musical director of Bella Acapella.
Thanks to the three of them, Bella Acapella is still breathing, singing, blending in harmony, and is still the only Barbershop chorus in Portugal, with 31 members of 10 nationalities.
On July 8, around 70 people attended a special performance, with good food and drinks in a beautiful location. The event was limited to family and friends because they really deserve our gratitude for their dedication in supporting us.
And now, we are taking a well-deserved summer break until the end of August, and will come back fully energised in September, when we are planning to go to Seville to attend a Harmony College organised by the Spanish Association of Barbershop Singers.
There will be more concerts, new songs, new members, and new challenges!
If you are curious, go along and give it a try. The chorus is always growing, with any voice and needs, especially bass voices.
Rehearsals take place on Wednesdays from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the Re-Criativa Cultural Association, Av da República 14, Olhão. Next rehearsal on August 30.
By ALEXANDRA BITOUN