Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Rest is Mozart

Today was both relaxing and stressful, in a slightly confusing way. This morning was completely free of commitments, except for brunch at 10:00. Several students went to the beach for some swimming and relaxing, while others stayed at the hospitality centre to read, swim in the pool, pick up some food gifts at the local supermarket, or catch up on laundry.

The rest of the day? Well, the rest is Mozart! Today was the culmination of our five-day-long mad scramble to learn Mozart's Missa Brevis in C Major. Originally, the piece was to be performed as part of a mass choir along with an orchestra. It was only last weekend that we found out we were the only choir participating, and consequently needed to find four soloists and learn the better part of 30 pages of music by today.

After lunch (and a marvellous snack of homemade cinnamon buns!), we headed off to an opera house that was completed in Fortaleza circa 1910 to rehearse for this evening's concert. And let me just say, the building was stunning. Despite being currently under renovations, it was absolutely beautiful! Apparently designed and built by the same company that designed and built the Eiffel Tower, the auditorium had floor seating, as well as several storeys of balcony boxes à la Phantom of the Opera.

In true Brazilian fashion, the trio rehearsal that was supposed to begin at 4:00 began at 4:30, and the choir rehearsal scheduled for 5:30 finally got underway at 6:45. Oh well. Hakuna matata, right? Wracked with nerves due to our hectic rehearsal schedule in the past week and a rushed dress rehearsal, the concert was nevertheless beautiful!

The Brazilian university put together a string quartet, which performed several pieces to begin the night. After they had finished, Drs. Sunabacka and Friesen performed alongside the orchestra's first violinist, and Dr. Friesen played one of Dr. Sunabacka's piano solo compositions. Then, after a brief intermission to reset the stage, it was time for the choir!

Our somewhat shaky dress rehearsal gave way to a confident, well-performed mass, and soloists Margaret, Janelle, Ben, and Darryl positively shone! Arriving home late, tired, and very glad to be finished with Mozart, the choir headed to bed for our last full day in Brazil tomorrow.

It's hard to believe we'll be headed home in less than 48 hours...

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