Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Friday in Padua! End-of-Tour Catch-Up!

Friday was all about PADUA! Leading up to today, many people had approached us about the Scrovegni Chapel- Giotto's crowning masterpiece, so we were lucky to be able to visit that on our last day!

The Scrovegni Chapel is completely covered in frescoes. Giotto broke the laws of painting of the 14th century by working with shadow and light. These biblical images nearly pop out at you- the pre-cursor to 3D art. Unfortunately, I adhered to the "no photo" policy and have nothing to show for it. Google it, it's pretty cool.

After our tour of the frescoes, the girls finally had some free time in Padua to explore, eat, shop and get all their jitters out before our big concert that evening. 

Our concert was held in the Scuola della Carità or The School of Charity. We just can't get over how beautiful everything is here! We're getting pretty spoiled by these gorgeous venues.

We arrive a little early and had some time to finally take group photos of girls in formal attire. Italy is the perfect backdrop!

If you've seen any of our promotional materials, you've seen the iconic shot of 4 girls in formal attire holding hands walking away from the cameraman. We believe this photo is from the last time the choir toured to Italy and, in fact, features one of our current singer's older sisters. We couldn't help but recreate the shot.

Our concert couldn't have been more well received. We premiered a commission by local Italian composer Alexander Kirshner titled "William il Magnifico" with the Iris Ensemble, our hosts that evening. It was a very emotional concert for the girls, knowing that tour was coming to an end and that this would be the last time our beloved graduated seniors would sing as members of PG.

After the concert, we had a dessert social with the Iris Ensemble and then sadly headed up to our rooms to pack and get a good night's rest before our return flight home the next day.

We LOVED Italy, and, judging by our reception at all our concerts, Italy loved us back. We're so glad to be back in the groove of tour after two years without touring- looking forward to what's in store for PG next!

Stay tuned for favorite tour moments from the girls! Ciao!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Thursday in Venice! End-of-Tour Catch-Up!

Due to basically NO internet in Padua, we were unable to update the blog beyond Wednesday night! The next few post are a catch up from the last few days of tour!

Thursday was dedicated solely to VENICE. This exquisite gem of a city was an excellent place for the girls to explore on their own. Our tour guide recommended everybody get lost- we advised them to not as we had a scheduled mini concert in the San Marco Basilica at 4:30!

Side note, there are posters for our Friday concert in Padua everywhere! This one was in the restaurant where we had dinner on Wednesday.

Just waiting to take the people mover into Venice prompted some gorgeous photos. This is actually a bus parking lot.

Those who participate in our off-Broadway presentation of Mandela! were reminded of the many subway rides we took while in New York. Chaperone Sue and Program Manager Kelly in particular had vivid flashbacks to those cold, crazy mornings while boarding the people mover. This made for a nice change.

Once in Venice, we took a brisk walking tour. Did you know Venice is actually comprised of 118 islands connected by over 400 bridges? We had to keep reminding the girls that there are over 400 bridges to take photos on and that they would have hours of free time later to cross over as many as they want.

As you can see, all our girls were dressed very respectably, but this time the priest was not too keen on the spiritual "I Know My Time Ain't Long." We know this because he attempted to stop them from singing once they had already started! Tour agent Kathie tried to explain that it was, indeed, religious, but the language barrier was not helpful in that situation. The audience loved it, though. 

Kathie assured us that her friend who had arranged this concert would speak to the priest later that week to smooth things over- we're so grateful to have her along with us!

After our concert, we took a boat shuttle (basically the equivalent to the public bus) back to the mainland. 40 minutes of sitting (imagine that!) prompted a little experimental photography on the girls part. Selfies are so 2013!