Friday, September 21, 2007

A night of culture......for FREE!

Living in a city like Venice affords one the opportunity to see so much history and culture and I certainly dont want to miss out. And while I am not particularly interested in listening to choirs and classical music, I did take the chance to sit in on a free concert at a local church last night.

First, this church is the third largest on the island, so it is HUGE even by American standards. The architecture, paintings, and sculptures inside (let alone if those walls could talk) are awe inspiring. As well, the acoustics are fantastic--even for me being generally tone deaf!

The concert started at 8pm. I was under the impression from the sign that it was to be a boys choir. Instead there were 6 different choirs from around the world gathering to each sing 4-5 hymns. Botswana was up first. I was semi-impressed, but probably because I have no idea where Botswana is and still imagine them to be living in the middle of nowhere--so for them to arrive in Venice, be dressed alike and sing in harmony is enough in itself!

The Ukraine was next. Much better than the first. Poland took the stage and I was blown away. I closed my eyes and I think I actually experienced what angels sound like in heaven. It was incredibly beautiful.

The Georgia (Russia) boys choir came next. They were all in costume which resembled a military outfit. They were young--some didnt look much more than 7 or 8. And they didnt look particularly happy or content. But then again, that may be because of my preconceived notions of Russia as an American. They sang Gregorian chants--note to self, dont listen to Gregorian chants unless you need to fall asleep!

Denmark followed but after my heavenly experience with Poland, they seemed like a let down. And finally, Slovenia. I left after 2 songs for them. I had reached the limit of my culture intake for the evening!

The interesting part was that there was another group in the audience all dressed in native garb (similary to German, possibly Switzerland--something like that). I had figured they were the Denmark group but that didnt happen so not sure why they costume clad people showed up unless they were a last minute write in to the lineup and I missed them by leaving early.

I really did enjoy it and I hope to stumble upon another adventure like this in the near future (which is easy to do in this city). Who knows, I might actually grow to appreciate the beauty of a choir and the old music.

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