Final rehearsal for tonight's concert
After a rehearsal two days ago that was filled with work--and working out (bowings, adjusting dynamic levels, tempo changes)--last night's dress rehearsal was one of good effort and smart music making. We made great progress through my "punch list," attending to the items left over from the night before. By the end, I think we were all feeling good about our preparation, and an energetic anticipation for tonight's opening filled the room.
Vocal soloists Eduardo Linares, Rocio Juanes, Jose Luis Duarte and Diana Maria Azero
Our four soloists are from La Paz, and were auditioned by Charlie Houmard and Roland a year ago, for the choir and orchestra's performance of the Beethoven Choral Fantasy. I've enjoyed getting to know them, and the choral singers are delighted to have them back in Santa Cruz.
Yesterday afternoon, Roland, the instrumentalists and I were the guests of a few of Roland's board members for lunch out in the countryside. "La Rinconada" looks a little like a very elegant country club, with beautiful gardens, a small lake, and numerous palapa-like thatched-roof structures where groups can dine "al fresco." We enjoyed the grounds for a bit, then shared generous helpings of Pique Macho, a native Bolivian dish of beef, veggies, and a mildly spicey sauce.
Two views of our lunching place, "La Rinconada"
And on other food related topics, our dinner last night at a local french restaurant, "Le Coin," was one of the best meals I've ever had. The Chicken Cordon Bleu was incredibly rich and satisfying, served with a side of fettucine alfredo. Our hosts begged us to have dessert, so naturally I had to try the chocolate mousse. So now...off for a jog to burn all that off!
Yummy French cuisine at "Le Coin" after dress rehearsal