Our First Concert and Other Italian Notes
GUEST BLOGGER: Amy B.
We’ve just returned from our first concert with Tempus Floridium, and I am pleased to report that everything went quite well. Tempus Floridium is a group of 7 singers with a repertoire of early music, mostly – they had great energy and took on some challenging pieces for such a small group! I especially enjoyed a few of the Italian madrigals they had prepared – I would love for us to sing some of them but I am fairly certain our tongues will never wrap themselves around all of those words!
We also sang well, despite the heat, and managed to share a program of secular and sacred music with our audience. This concert was organized by an arts organization in the city and was a part of a series. As a result, we had very little to do with the set up, and very little idea what to expect from this performance opportunity. What we were greeted with on arrival was a long hill our bus could not climb. AFTER we climbed it, we found ourselves an orangerie with a small auditorium on it, a bar/refreshment stand, a tent being assembled for acrobatics and a few low key Italians having dinner and waiting for the 9:00 concert start time.
After a quick warm up and a brief hello to Tempus Floridium, the concert began. A few things we learned that night about concerts in Italy include:
• It is always good to have a casual uniform. This became VERY apparent as we hiked up the hill, not in our flowy concert dress, but instead in our short, knee-covering skirts and black shirts (red peep-toed shoes optional, although most people waited til the last moment before putting them on).
• Time is relative. Time in Italy is considered differently than at home. In Canada, a concert at 9:00 starts at 9:00, or shortly thereafter; in Italy, a concert at 9:00 begins when everyone is ready…..which was about 9:30….ish. Audiences are different too: in Canada, most people show up for the concert start time; whereas, during this concert, many people arrived part way through and chatted with people they sat with…..interesting.
• Language learning is tricky, no matter where you are. Tempus Floridum thought our Italian was passable, and had many good tips to improve the text of Verdi’s Laudi Alla Vergine Maria, which we performed that night. We noticed that their English was just as good as our Italian, which made us feel a little better about that.
• There is nothing like being away in very different surroundings to make you feel very proud of where you’re from. Nuf said.
It feels good to be singing again, in this lovely place. The next time you hear from me, we will have sung Mass at St. Marco’s, in Venice. Ciao for now!