April 15, 2011
In the last two posts, I had written much about the interesting part of my stay in Italy, and it seemed that it was not much related to music at all. In fact, music was part of my life, and it would be difficult to separate the former from the latter.
During those days in Italy, I spent my time with the singers every single day. Our group was a miniature of the UNESCO, as we had representatives from all over the world. Other than obviously the Americans and Italians, we also had Koreans, Mexicans, Chileans, Croats, Icelanders, Cubans, Germans, Puerto Ricans, etc. I was the sole representative of Hong Kong / China.
I love music, and also love culture. And what better way to learn more about culture than mingling with people from the particular countries?
We were there for a three-week music festival, and we had performances/ recitals regularly during that period. Sometimes they might be smaller performances, while others were of bigger scales.
There were two that were the most memorable. One was a concert in a bigger city nearby the town we were staying (I forgot the name of that city). Before the night of the performance, we went there to have a rehearsal. It was the first time to see that concert hall, but it was really magnificent. What a marvelously built hall! With the renaissance-style interior decor like that you would see in movies such as Faranelli or Amadeus, the hall had all those boxes and gorgeous velvet Roman drapes. It was just a gorgeous stage for gorgeous music.
We had a wonderful performance that night together and we went to a great ristorante fresco after the concert, to celebrate music and life.
The other music experience was singing in the Vatican . One day our group was informed that we would be singing as a choir together in a Sunday morning service there. Most of us were quite thrilled about it. I was not religious but it seemed to be a great experience singing there. So I joined the others in the rehearsals prior to the performance. The rehearsals were led by an Italian conductor, whom I found to be totally intolerable due to his arrogance and impotence. Still we went to the Vatican and sang in the service there. It was quite memorable in that church of magnificent architecture.
(To be continued…)