For God’s sake! The pastor of Wünnewil-Flamatt FR, Hubert Vonlanthen, doesn’t want Hollywood glamor in his church. The Friborg Film Orchestra & Chorus (FFOC), which specializes in film music, is now feeling the effects of this.
140 musicians, singers, amateurs and professionals are part of this project orchestra. The ensemble has already performed twice, in 2019 and 2021, in the Wünnewil Church with “Hollywood in Concert” shows. At the concerts they play music from various Hollywood films: “Avengers”, “Lion King” or “Back to the Future”, for example.
“People don’t use superheroes”
The next such concert is now planned for autumn 2023. But: Pastor Vonlanthen does not want another Hollywood concert in the church. In his written justification to the FFOC, the pastor states that, given the catastrophic world situation, such a concert in the church in Wünnewil is not appropriate.
His reasoning: “Today’s people, whether believers or not, are of no use to fictions with ‘superhuman’ (ie pseudo-religious) equipped, unreal superhero saviors, who set the tone in this project to a large extent.” He also objects that the story of a woman murderer (“Perfume”) has no place in the church.
The pastor wishes for other, “real perspectives of hope” for his people. It is important to refer to Jesus Christ and to bear witness to him in today’s world. Because only he alone can bring peace, he continues to write. That means there is only one superhero for him: Jesus Christ.
“Almost like in Gotthelf’s time”
Mathias Boschung (46), conductor and organizer of the FFOC, finds it regrettable that cultural workers will still have to fight for their place in the church in 2022. “When the pastor decides what people need and what they don’t, it’s almost like in Gotthelf’s time,” says Boschung to Blick.
With the FFOC he only wants to offer the audience a unique concert experience in a very special atmosphere. During their performances, various film excerpts are projected onto a large screen to the live music of the orchestra and choir and accompanied by a light show. «The audiovisual experience is key. The church in Wünnewil is ideally suited for this because it is almost cathedral-like in height,” explains Boschung.
Pastor has the last word
In addition, the ensemble needs space. “We are enormous. Of course we have already looked around for alternatives. But so far we haven’t found any other suitable concert hall for our project in the region,” says Boschung. And: “If the church were to disappear for our project, it would be a shame for everyone involved and the regional audience.”
Only: The pastor is the head of the house and as such he has the last word. When asked by Blick, Vonlanthen only said: “The matter has not been decided, we are still talking.” Boschung hasn’t given up hope either. Either to be able to perform in the church after all through a small miracle or to find a concert hall that meets the needs of the large formation.
You might also be interested in this