Inese Galante: May Mozart Inspire Us All!
“We were all thinking that the festival should open with Mozart’s “Requiem”, and Vita Jaunzeme, the Executive Director at the Inese Galante Foundation, was the first to propose the idea. As you can see, there are very creative people working at our foundation,” the singer says smilingly, emphasising that there were a lot of compositions that could be played at the festival’s opening concert, however:
“Mozart means harmony, a composition that everyone will understand, it stands for eternity and light!
I suppose no one would like to cry at the opening concert, isn’t it so? All of us want to have faith!” Inese Galante, while visiting other countries, saw with her own eyes that in Thailand, for instance, everything grows much faster if Mozart’s music is playing non-stop, be it orchards or livestock. “I have sung the piece countless times, and every time I did I felt that something is crying in my soul, cleansing itself, flying…”
For this extraordinarily beautiful composition to speak to each and every person in the audience, Inese Galante has assembled a truly impressive line-up: conductor Evelino Pidò who the singer trusts completely and calls a reincarnation of Toscanini, the acclaimed soloists Ann Hallenberg, Andreas Schager and Egils Siliņš. “All of my friends accepted the offer without a moment of hesitation. The conductor was simply exhilarated!” says the singer, stressing that any normal person wants to do something for the common good, especially in a project like this.
“I have been participating in UNESCO and UNICEF projects for many years, and I’m happy to do this – if I can be of help by participating in a project, I definitely will! If there is something you can do for other people, it has to be done. I have a daughter and, for three weeks now, a grandson, and I want this to be a good place for them to live!”
Inese Galante is confident that the concert will make an impact on every listener, that people will join hands and feel as if they are one large family, and ponder what they could do for the Baltic Sea.
“We all know what it’s like when there is a mess at our homes but we have no time to tidy it up, just clean up the worst of it. And then a moment comes when you get around to it and clean your home perfectly, knowing that you’ll have guests. You have such a great feeling once you’ve done it! I’m talking about myself, but I believe that it’s the same with all people.”
That is why the singer who has always been proud of her land, and considers it the most beautiful, greenest and cleanest country in Europe, wants it to stay this way. “We have the most beautiful sea, which, unfortunately, many don’t know how to care about. I’m not saying that all people are like this, but regrettably, there are people who leave a lot of litter where they go. And there are other problems, too – the sea is being polluted with chemicals. Unfortunately, only the highest-ranking officials and people in high places can change this. But the situation is grave – entire fish species are becoming extinct in the Baltic Sea…” For this reason, participants in the concert want to appeal for people to take action: “My mother used to tell me how it was in Latvia before the war – if someone dropped something on the ground, a police officer approached him and said politely that he had lost something. If the officer had to say this a second time, the person had to pay a fine. I would like it to be this way now, too – those who drop litter should be confronted by either police officers, or at least environmentalists.”
The singer goes on to tell us that she has observed in many places in the world how people, young and old, on certain days take trash bags and go to the beach to pick up litter left by other people. “Why can’t it be the same here?” she asks, and reveals that it is her dream that, perhaps after the concert, people could walk to the beach to collect litter – which would mean that the concert will have achieved at least something. Inese Galante emphasises that many people think the same way, and do what little they can to change something. “But we must try to achieve that something changes at the higher levels also. And may Mozart help us! I think he would gladly support us in our endeavour as he was a person who devoted himself entirely to everything he was doing.”
Inese also notes that her foundation and the World Wide Fund for Nature have developed a five-step programme to help Latvian residents get involved in the effort to save the environment at the sea, and she also tries hard to follow the programme.
“The first step is to prompt the people to think how the things they eat and the household chemicals they use affect the sea. Then they can share their experience and encourage others to do more to protect the environment. We also invite residents of Latvia to participate in events and campaigns to create a better environment at the sea.
The environment in which people live and work must be improved too. And the last step is to help people realise that, even if they don’t have the time or will to change something in their daily lives, they can at least support others. As for me, I always strive to be in a clean environment – sometimes I bend over to pick up something that someone else has dropped, or even point out to such people that they shouldn’t litter. Because I am responsible for more than just my own life and health,” says Inese Galante.