Interview, September 1st, 2011, with Christian Fotsch and Nicole Trossmann
Mr. Fotsch, the largest Gypsy festival in Switzerland has been in existence for 10 years. What is different this year?
The new program stands out with a gala line-up from all previous Gypsy festivals: The Czech Roma singer Ida Kelarova with her eight-piece Gypsy Swing Orchestra will be able to inspire the audience. Esmeralda and “Talisman” from Russia, the flamenco ensemble Juan de Gloria, three fantastic Oriental dancers from Uzbekistan, Tibet and Switzerland as well as the Macedonian-Swiss quintet Ssassa are also present. More than 20 musicians and dancers from 6 nations will offer a raucous celebration.
How did you even come up with the idea of setting up a gypsy festival in this country?
It was an old dream of mine to bring together the diversity of fascinating gypsy cultures in one concert evening, to offer them a platform and to create new fusions together with other groups. What resulted from this every year is magnificent! An experience for which it is definitely worthwhile to leave the good room. They themselves not only initiated the festival, but also – at Ssassa – also played along themselves. A difficult double role?Not at all, I love the challenge. To set up such a festival is hard bone work. But when all 20 artists stand on stage and give one last encore, this means pure joy of life!
How has the festival changed in the 10 years since its inception?
While at the 1st concert in the sold-out Congress House Zurich there was still a lot on shaky feet, the “Oriental & Flamenco Gypsy Festival” has now grown on all levels. Now I am very much looking forward to the new tour, which takes us through 5 Swiss cities.