Concert performances were different every time. The venues were different and the selection of songs to sing varied according to the venue and the anticipated audience. Some concerts were heavily promoted and others seemed to be word of mouth. So, before the concert, there was a rehearsal, then clothing changes, maybe another warm-up, all the while there is a stage and sound equipment to be set up as well. Musicians tuning up. Taking into consideration the various elements of the weather and lighting. When setting up for an outdoor performance, the chorus is “on” as the audience begins to gather. To draw folks in as well as entertain before the concert, the musicians would play. Tonight, one of the songs, “Sooth Me”, drew in people nearby, as well as one little girl in blue.
“Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.” Peter Hoeg
I look at these photos and find it difficult to even describe the daily pace of this tour! From Matej giving us history on the big bus while Antonia gave similar talks to the little bus crowd, to a guided tour of an old part of a town, to special lunches prepared for us, more tours of castles, more history, on and off the bus, singing in amazing venues, sometimes for our own pleasure, sometimes for informal performances and sometimes for formal concerts, then late night dinners following concerts or travel to the next city. Wow! Here are a few images from the first few days in Zagreb, Pregrada, Samobor. More to come in the next few days as I process it all.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” Aldous Huxley
The day began with boarding buses decorated with American flags and banners. After announcements, we noted it was the Fourth of July. We sang patriotic songs and talked about being American. Charlie talked about being in Africa during the draft of men during the Vietnam Nam conflict. We have been on tour in other summers when we find ourselves not home on Independence Day. As we listen to history of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Croatia from our guide, we are grateful to be from America.
We drove about four hours to the Plitvicka National Park, a natural wonder with several lakes that spill over in glorious waterfalls. This is a very pristine park, the pride of Croatia. Interesting experience to be in this beautiful setting with probably 6,000 other people (they expect 10,000 visitors daily in the high season!). One wants to capture the beauty in a photo, but rarely snaps a shot that doesn’t have a human walking through.
Our guide was Blanka Turkalj-Dupanovic, who was so enthusiastic about the park and the preservation that’s been done. She invited us all to her family farm/dairy the next day!
Following are some comments written in a journal we pass around on the bus.
Talked with a lovely young woman multiple times in Kalnik, she sat with a friend at a table near ours on the deck. She came to the concert and would love to visit Washington! Such wonderful people.
People of Kalnik in the audience really like Lipi Lisi. Thoroughly loved our singing – invited us to return.
While walking in Zagreb in front of a group of teenage French boys I enjoyed hearing them practice their English with the sentence “I would like some more wine, please.”
The magical sound of singing in a cathedral fills me.
Lovely, friendly people! Beautiful hills, farming communities and full, 100% employment!! Loved hiking up to ruined castles. Love getting time with many different chorus members.
On our way to Slovenia. Very lively chatter on the Big Bus today – reminding me of a morning chorus of small sparrows.
What words can describe the JOY!?!? Thank you ALL!
Looking out at the audience singing their songs and ours. And their joy of singing and swaying to our songs.