Monday, August 19, 2013

Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta; Duomo di Spoleto, Italia

This is was my third time singing with Umbrian Serenades, perhaps the most joyous and inspiring 'sing' of the bunch, if only because my friend and colleague Paulo Faustini gathered an amazing group of singers together. Everyone showed up knowing the score (yes - double meaning there) and with the aim of having a great time, which is exactly what we did: eating, drinking and singing our way through three beautiful Italian cities!

Our first concert took place on the Porch of the Duomo in Spoleto, the very same place where I sang in 1985 as a graduate student with Westminster Choir as part of the Festival Opera Chorus, singing Bach Chorales, Spirituals and a bring-tears-to-your-eyes rendition of Danny Boy. We stood on - and in front of- the steps that you see in the third photo, the sound of 36 singers ringing out across the Piazza and into town. The conductor? None other than Joseph Flummerfelt himself, the arranger of Danny Boy and professor emeritus of Westminster Choir College. You haven't sung until you sing with him. 

I snapped quite a few photos of the Duomo this time around, finding things that had somehow escaped my eye in years past: beautiful ceiling fresco in a chapel, skull and bone tomb, marble carving in a doorway. The structure itself was built in the 12th century, with an interior that is quite 18th century. 

The main altar contains a fabulous fresco which I did not take photos of, but is very much worth seeing. Pop a coin into a box, and it will light up. I saw Caravaggio paintings in a church in Rome that were illuminated in the same way. Oh so very Italian.

Lastly- did you know that the great conductor Thomas Schippers is interred in a wall of the courtyard in front of the Dumo? My husband knew him. But that's another story. One that only he can tell. 

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