Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Italia: Day 6.

"The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again."
~George Miller

Has it really only been six days? When you have back-to-back concerts, rehearsals, midnight dinners, and you meet and greet tons of people every day, it feels like a lot longer than just six days.

Salt Lake Vocal Artists (Italy group) with Giampaolo Vessella
Photo by Dave Reeder

So I'm still loving Italy. Was there ever a question that I would? :) Today, we had a morning rehearsal with Giampaolo helping out on "Io mi pensai," the competition compulsory piece. He acted as our tutor, helping us understand the true meaning of the piece.

Giampaolo Vessella and Dr. Brady Allred
Photo by Dave Reeder

We did some acting exercises and rehearsed and re-rehearsed the piece. Giampaolo was incredible.

Giampaolo Vessella
Photo by Dave Reeder

He has such passion within him and truly connected with us and helped us connect with the song. Our rehearsals with him will remain some of my favorites in Italy.

Combined choirs of Salt Lake Vocal Artists and Coro El Leon de Oro with Marco conducting
Photo by Dave Reeder

We then had a combined rehearsal with the Spanish choir who joined us for our concert tonight in Tortolì and will also be there for our last one tomorrow in the Basilica di San Saturnino again. They have marvelous voices with such power and it's great to sing with them. We're singing one piece together: Rachmaninoff's "Bogoroditse Devo," one of my favorite movements of Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil. You may recall that the Salt Lake Choral Artists performed the whole "All Night Vigil" about a year and a half ago in concert with The University of Utah Singers. Seriously some of my favorite music.

Today brought a delicious risotto for lunch. And if I were my brother, I would have taken a picture of it. But alas, I was not that quick to remember to document my delicious meal. Let's be honest, I was just ready to eat it!

Emery and Jessica

Swimming in our beautiful hotel pool made for a wonderful afternoon. The pool has no shallow end. Seriously. The entire thing is like 12 feet deep, hence the synchronized swimming act of a few days ago. Oh, I never posted that picture... here you go. :) Joseph was so kind to oblige me.

And let me just say that I have a LOT more respect for synchronized swimmers after attempting to do it in a pool where I could never touch the bottom. Not being able to springboard off the bottom to give me momentum really hampered my well-honed synchronized swimming skills. You might want to check out this link, in case you're unaware of my skillz. :)

Tonight's concert was in the Cattedrale di Sant'Andrea in Tortolì, which is a cute little town about two hours up the eastern coast of the island of Sardegna. For part of the way we drove along the winding coastline highway, which made me a bit sick. But it sure was beautiful.

As soon as I stepped off the bus I saw these cheerful morning glories and then Ryan picked one for me. I immediately tucked it in my ear and walked around town like that.

Photo by Dave Reeder

Despite feeling a little sick from the bus, we went straightway to get some gelato in the center of town! :) That hit the spot. That was the first time I ordered pine nut. Ohhhhhhhh, so good. Gosh, that was just delicious. And maybe we were all a little silly to eat gelato right before a concert, but Dr. Allred led the way, so we just followed in line.

Emery and Kristen with our gelato in Tortolì

Tortolì was such a cute town, with narrow streets and flags hanging on banners all through the center of town. I'm not sure if they are always there or if there was some type of celebration that had gone on prior to our arrival. Nevertheless, it was just fun.

This just might be my favorite picture of Italy. Love the colors in Tortolì

We finally made it back to the Cathedral, where we had a sound check followed by a beautiful concert with the Spanish choir. It was fun to be a participant as well as an audience member that night.

Women of Salt Lake Vocal Artists and Coro El Leon de Oro

Women of Coro El Leon de Oro

Following the concert we (both choirs with our festival directors) headed over to a pizzeria for dinner. Yes, it was something like 11:00pm, but we hadn't eaten and we were on Italian time. Claudio, Margarita, and Rodrigo said that they always eat pizza when they come to Tortolì, so we couldn't pass it up.

We filled the whole restaurant--at about 11pm.

I remembered to take a picture. My pizza was the best! Ham, mushrooms, olives, and artichoke hearts. Yum!

Luckily, Tortolì was only a two-hour drive home, so we made it to bed sometime before 3am. What a great day!

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