Saturday, July 11, 2009

Geneva in Flames

Hello again!

I am back from a travel blitz about Europe and I am glad to be home although I wish there was more warm weather to welcome me back. It is hard coming home to chilly Edmonton after the humid hot weather in London. I successfully explored 6 cities within a span of 20 days! I was able to visit Paris, Helsinki, Madrid, Lisbon, Geneva, and London within that time. What were my favorite cities you ask? Definitely Helsinki and Lisbon. I think my obsessive love for the Finnish a capella group, Rajaton, primed me to love Finland. I was definitely not disappointed... even with the chilly torrential rain that caused me to seek shelter under store awnings and made me silently curse the fact that I only brought cropped pants. However, I did check Rajaton's website to see if they would be having any concerts during the time I was there and I was sad to see that they would actually be in Toronto. I thought it was a cruel joke that the one time I would be in Finland Rajaton would be in Canada...

At any rate, I wish I had miraculous posts about amazing European choirs but, unfortunately, I was not able to attend any choral specific concerts. However, I was able to catch a very cool open-air theatre show called Geneva in Flames at the Promenade de Bastions in Genvea. The story chronicled one of the religious reformation fathers of Geneva, Calvin, and his relationship with the city.

The set was very well done since the actual marble Reformation Wall, honouring the four fathers, is built into one side of the Promenade and the set covered this until the final act when the set pulled away and revealed the actual monument behind it. There was a unique moment when the actor playing Calvin hopped up onto the foot of the marble Calvin and engaged in some interesting dialogue with his marble self. He remarked that he was probably doing the best with what he had during the time but it is difficult to change people and their thinking when they do not wished to be changed.

One thing that impressed me during the play was the use of music. There was a trio of trombone players and they had a huge job throughout the play. With minimal help from a conductor they played cues for all the actors, fanfares at the beginning and end of sets, and background music for most of the scenes. It is a mighty job for a trio of players to supply the entire musical atmosphere of the play but they did a splendid job. As well, they all had such sleek silver outfits :)

Another interesting thing was that there was a chorus that sang and was apart of the play as well. They wore navy blue outfits and sang some pleasing sacred sets during the play. They were also incorporated as characters within the play as townsfolk. I do not have too much to say about them since they weren't so much a choir as much as they were another character within a play. Their singing was enjoyable but by no means was I wowed by their musical virtuosity.

It was lovely to stumble across such an interesting artistic event in the city since I love attending plays and festivals special to each city!

Next time, I will write about my love for a new group I was introduced to, The Scandinavian Music Group!

Take care!

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