Looong day today...arrived via overnight ferry boat in Ancona, Italy, after very stormy and turbulent crossing. One big wave sent ALL the dishes, glasses and bottles of booze crashing to the floor in the bar. Most of the trip, however, was pretty calm and actually relaxing...a welcome relief from the fast pace of the rest of the tour thus far. (And remind me to tell about the attempted stowaways we witnessed crawling under our busses while we waited for our boarding passes!)
We arrived in Bologna around 5 pm today, and took a walking tour of the beautiful old city downtown. Following dinner in a cafeteria at the University of Bologna, we headed to an old church, now owned by the University and used by its music students, for rehearsal for tomorrow's performance. We were joined for the last hour by 10 string players and about 100 singers, all of whom folded in to our ensembles for rehearsal of "The Promise of Living" and "Stomp Your Foot" from Copland's opera THE TENDER LAND.
I rehearsed the chorus and chorus+orch on Stomp Your Foot, even getting to practice my Italiano by asking the men to sing one passage "un poco piu suave, per favore" (!)
Following rehearsal, we drove to Montecatini, where we are spending the next two nights. Tomorrow, before our concert, we have a half day trip to Florence.
Now, since this connection seems to be working quickly, let me try to post a few pics.
Our visit to the magnificent theater at Epidaurus
Graduate Choral Conducting Students Leeann Ashby and Greg Sanders admire the view from atop the Mycenean Acropolis
Stan Derusha conducts the Butler Chamber Orchestra in concert at Napflion
"Fraternity Brothers" Max Wellman and Henry Leck enjoy a post-concert meal and cheer