The Bel Canto Chamber Choir was founded by Dan Lönnqvist in December 1989. Comprising 25 singers the Bel Canto forms part of the Svenska Arbetarinstitut (Swedish Workers’ Institute) in Jakobstad.
During its lifetime, the Bel Canto has appeared on ninety occasions performing a wide range of music, including Franz Schubert’s “Mass in G major”, Karl- Erik Gustafsson’s “Mass for Pentecost Night” , Gioacchino Rossini’s “Messe Solennelle”, Luigi Cherubini’s “Requiem in C minor”, Anton Dvorak’s “Mass in D major”, Felix Mendelssohn’s “Songs of Praise” symphony, Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Motets”, “St. Matthew Passion” and “Christmas Oratorio”, Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana”, Johannes Brahms’ “A German Requiem” and “Requiem” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The Bel Canto performs up to six times a year, mainly in Jakobstad and the local district. However, the Choir has also made trips further afield to Estonia, Poland and Ukraine.
It has worked with the Jakobstad Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Central Ostrobothnia, the Cracow Percussion Group and other local choirs for choral projects.
Recent years have proved very eventful. In 2001 the Bel Canto gave concerts in Helsinki, Tampere and Turku. The Choir also went abroad performing at the Philharmonia Hall in Cracow and the Contrasts Festival in L’viv, Ukraine. In 2002 the Bel Canto gave performances of Gioacchino Rossini’s “Messe Solennelle” in Jakobstad and at the Folk Music Festival in Kaustinen – in front of an audience of 2000 people – and “A German Requiem” by Johannes Brahms with the Jakobstad Orchestra and the male voice choir Jakobstads Sångerbröder. The Bel Canto appeared at the Jubilee Concert for Jakobstad to mark the 350th anniversary of the town. The year also included choral participation in church services, a concert on St. Michael’s Day and the traditional Bel Canto Christmas concert.