Saturday, 14 March 2015

Choir weekend with Simon Halsey

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My choir “Audite Nova Zug” is part of Europa Cantat, the European federation for choirs. Every year there is a big weekend with sininging and a concert in the end. This year it was time for our choir to host, it all took place in Unterägeri, the village I live in.

We prepared the Dvorak Mass in D major and five of our songs from Riga. The mass was for
Nicolas Fink
everyone, choir people from all over Switzerland came to rehearse with us. It was a good mixture. On Saturday morning (January 17) the program started with an introduction and then we started preparing the mass with Nicolas Fink, a great Swiss choir master, who works with the Berlin Rundfunk choir and other choirs all over Europe. It was wonderful with him, his style is very different, from what I’m used to. He found the perfect way to get us sing the way he wanted it to be and I never looked at my watch ;)
We worked on the mass the whole afternoon as well and then after dinner we started rehearsing with Simon Halsey, one of the best choirmasters. His style was different again, which was awesome and special. We rehearsed with the Ensemble Leonardo and I have to say they have some good-looking guys around my age ;) The rest of the participants were older and not as interesting. Especially one of the guys was sexy (with beard), we thought about getting him to join us in Assassins, he’d be perfect ;) Unfortunately, the ensemble wasn’t really joining our activities, which made it hard to talk to him.
After that rehearsal we had a little party with a band and drinks. It started a bit lame and boring, but it got really funny and I found myself dancing to traditional Swiss music (I don’t like this kind of music).

Simon Halsey
The next morning I had to get up at 7 am, which is really really early for a Sunday, we started rehearsing at around 9, singing in the morning is never funny, but Simon made it interesting. After lunch we went to the church and got ready on stage and practiced our five Riga songs again, then the other participants arrived and we had to arrange everything on stage. The stage was huge. For our choir part we were at the front, but then we had to move all the way back, I couldn’t see a thing in the end ;) Well, I did see Simon, so I was at least able to sing. The dress rehearsal was intense but we made it in the end.

The whole choir
The concert was amazing. The ensemble sang first and I was sitting right behind the handsome guy, I had a pretty good look ;) Oh and his hands… I always look at hands, right after the eyes. Ok, back to singing. It was our turn after that and the people really liked our songs, especially the one we accompanied with glasses.
Standing on stage with 300 others is pretty impressive and a great experience, the mass was a big success, as was the whole weekend. I got to meet people with the same interest and passion. After cleaning up we went to have drinks and I also got to talk to Simon Halsey and Nicolas Fink, which was pretty great.

This was a weekend I will never forget!!! I was exhausted in the end and the following days, but it was worth every second of it!!!

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