Songs for orchestra in memory of women in Sweden winning the right to vote


Let the Voice Be Heard is the title of a concert held on October 14, 2021, on the stage of the Opera house in Göteborg, at which the Songs for voice and orchestra by the prominent Croatian woman composer Dora Pejačević was performed. This concert, in memory of the centenary of the first parliamentary elections in Sweden at which women had the suffrage, should have been performed on International Women’s Day, but because of the pandemic had to be postponed. The very interesting and varied programme with works of women composers written since the 19th century featured the mezzo-soprano Katarina Karnéus, who presented Dora’s Songs, soprano Sofie Asplund and oboist  Geoff Cox accompanied by the Orchestra and Female Choir of the Opera in Göteborg conducted by maestro Henrik Schaefer, musical director of the Opera. The programme included Helios, concerto for oboe, written by the prize-winning Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave, Callirhoë, op. 37, symphonic ballet from the oeuvre of the French composer Cécile Chaminade and the already  mentioned Songs for voice and orchestra  (Verwandlung, op. 37b, Liebeslied, op. 39 and Zwei Schmetterlingslieder, op. 52) of Dora Pejačević, the material for the performance of this work being provided by the Music Information Centre of the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall.  Then came performances of compositions dedicated to and inspired by women Cantata at the International Congress for Women’s Suffrage by Elfrida Andrée of Göteborg, performed now 110 years after the last time it was given, and March of the Women, the anthem of the suffragettes, by English composer Ethel Smyth, first performed in 1911 in the Royal Albert Hall in London, in the performance of which the public was invited to take part.