Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 2: First Rehearsals

Working on some of the solo quartets in Mozart's "Coronation" Mass

I had a lot of fun today! After a good night's sleep in a very large bed in my room at the Hotel Santa Cruz (just 3 blocks from the Cathedral and civic plaza), I ventured to the hotel's breakfast buffet. Plenty to eat--sliced fruit, some cheese and ham, cereal, pastries, yogurt, juice and coffee. Shared my table with Felix (violinist from Germany who will be a featured soloist on the first part of the concert that "my" choral work will conclude) and Melissa (his friend and dancer/choreographer, whom Roland has asked to help prepare a project for an upcoming season). Felix and Melissa arrived on the AeroSur overnight flight from Madrid, landing at 2 am, and arriving at the hotel around 5. They looked pretty good considering all that!

Fred took me to the rehearsal hall, in a privately owned community center. It was a large room with lots of wood surfaces. Good space for singing and making music. There, I taught a morning masterclass to some singers...folks from the choir interested in working on the various solos found in Mozart's "Coronation" Mass. (Though we are bringing in professionals soloists from La Paz, Roland and I agreed the singers would gain a lot from the experience of preparing these solos.) They were an eager bunch, willing to try things a different way. I can only imagine how foreign it must feel to "put oneself out there" vocally speaking, and so cooperatively try things that may feel new or different. I'll continue my work with them throughout the two weeks as time permits.

Lunch was served at Roland's house, prepared by his wife (Marcella) and also his mother. Some German food (in a nod to Felix), vegetables, chicken, and a lesson in "Brazilian" coffee.

Roland, Melissa, Felix and Marcella

After a restful stop back at the hotel, it was over to the rehearsal site again, for my afternoon 3-hour session with the chorus. About 40 folks attended, and they had done their homework (thanks Charlie!). We reviewed the first two movements of the mass, and took some time to introduce the third (the Credo).

It was great to meet the singers...many have worked with me during my trips in 2005 and 2008--it is great to see them again! And some are new...evidence of the continued community interest in vocal performance, and what I take as a growing sense of the possibility that collaboration brings.

There was a lot of good work and learning taking place...and lots of laughing and enjoying the process as well. Of course my linguistic "chops" provide their own moments of disarming fun (I call it, "Guess what the conductor is thinking now"!). And I did have to remind everyone of the now infamous gaffe I made last time I was here, confusing the verb "disfrutar" ("enjoy") with "disculpar" ("excuse") (hence my introduction to our final performance of the Mozart Requiem was prefaced by my request to the audience "That you might excuse our performance this evening".)

Following rehearsal, Roland took me, Melissa and Felix out for a yummy meal at a nearby Irish Pub. It was fun to be crowded in that hopping joint, surrounded by happy Bolivians!


  1. As always, I love that you include what you're eating, as you'll know I'll ask about it anyway! Love reading your posts.

  2. Maestro, mi hijo,
    I've just read all of your posts and savored every one of them. You are so good with your descriptions and details. Thanks for letting us "come along" on your Bolivian adventure.

    Con mucho amor,
    Madre Stark

  3. Gracias, Madre Stark y "hermana" Anne! Un beso a los dos! (PS...APV, Bolivia wants to know when you're coming back??!!)

  4. Please let Bolivia know it may be a while!