Sunday, September 11, 2011

Italia: Day 4.

"If people were meant to pop out of bed, we'd all sleep in toasters."
~Author unknown

Sardinian Coastline

Saturday was a beautiful day in Cagliari, but I didn't see very much of it. After our 4:11am return to the hotel, I ended up sleeping until 1:20pm. Blythe (my roommate for the trip) and I closed our two sets of curtains (black-out ones) and slept until Joseph repeatedly knocked pounded on our door to wake us up for lunch. Yes, LUNCH. He said that no one would be served until everyone was there, so we'd better hurry and come. As it turns out, we were not the only ones who had "chosen" to sleep through lunch, and the staff decided to go ahead and serve anyway.

Unlucky for me, lunch was a warm pasta with tomato sauce and tuna. I had literally rolled out of bed, without brushing my hair or changing my clothes to come to lunch and I was so out of sorts and dizzy from lack of sleep that when I smelled our first course of tuna pasta, I thought I might have to excuse myself. Lucky for everyone else, I made it through and on to the second course which was some sort of fish filet. I think I've learned that despite the fact that I am always willing to try anything and I usually like most food, I cannot, I repeat CANNOT, eat fish for breakfast. It's not the hotel's fault... they were serving it for lunch, not breakfast. :)

Rehearsal with Dr. Allred and Giampaolo Vessella
(who helped us with our diction and expression of the Italian compulsory piece "Io mi pensai")
Photo by Dave Reeder.

We had an afternoon rehearsal. Then, our second concert of the tour was planned that evening in the Basilica di San Saturnino, which was, thankfully, only a 30 minute drive from the hotel.

Emery and Blythe in front of the Basilica di San Saturnino.

The Basilica dates back to 500 A.D. and has a fantastic acoustic, despite being painfully hot due to zero air circulation.

The beautiful interior of the Basilica di San Saturnino with the banner from our festival "Concordia Vocis"
The concert was really wonderful and the audience was very receptive. They loved the pieces that could be some audiences' least favorites and they were just very enthusiastic in spite of the sweat rolling down their faces. And they seemed to love us despite the sweat pouring down ours. :)

Basilica di San Saturnino
After the concert, we had gelato. (Surprise!) This time I went with coconut and pistachio. Yum. I know I should branch out to a few more flavors, but coconut is really hard to pass up. I ordered in Italian and the lady seemed very pleased. As I left, I wished them "buonanotte" and both workers stopped what they were doing, got a huge smile on their face and returned the farewell greeting. Leaving the gelateria, we walked through a group of audience members who had also found their way to the gelateria. They gave us several "bravi" and "komplimenti" and I responded with a heartfelt "grazie" and then, as I wished them all a "buonanotte," I got a rousing "buonanotte" almost sung in unison in return. It was quite satisfying. :) I wish I had had more time to learn a bit more Italian before I left.

We drove back to the hotel where we finished our day with a delicious dinner of sausage pasta with a sauce that tasted like a mixture of tomato and bolognese. It was SO delicious. We were seated outside adjacent to a large tent where an Italian wedding reception was underway. All the music and dancing was very fun to watch. When "Unchained Melody" started playing, our whole group sang out loud, getting our best Righteous Brothers voices on. It was hilarious. We sang the whole thing. Seriously, who are we? Singers. I sat at the same table as our festival director, Claudio. He speaks only about seven words of English. So he's constantly amused by us. Fun night.

All the concerts we are giving in Sardinia (Sardegna, for those who speaka di Italiano) are part of the Concordia Vocis International Choral Festival that occurs every year in and around Cagliari, Sardegna during the months of September and October. What an amazing festival this is, bringing choirs from all around the world simply to give music to the community. The festival, in its 20th year, seems to be very well organized and our concerts have been well attended.

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