Saturday, July 4, 2009


In case you are curious and not on Facebook.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Later Friday in Montreal

Julian Wachner has a whole new fan club. Wow! He's wonderful! The men were a disappointment but he tried.
What a banner!
The chancel of St John the Baptist, Montreal.
The organ.
The lights reminded us of pearl necklaces.
We rehearsed every evening except Wednesday when we got home in daylight. Shelly and I were surprised to see the lights in the city after Cirque.

Friday morning in Montreal

The penultimate day at BCF is always pretty busy, especially if there are plans for the evening. The day began with a choral rehearsal in Église St.-Jean-Baptiste which is a very large barn of a place. We were greeted with a huge poster outside like those advertising an exhibit at an art museum. Also saw an ad in the Metro. I doubt I will get around to posting photos maybe until I get home. It took some shuffling and last minute bleacher seats to get everyone organized but eventually I ended up where I wanted to be. The gal on my right ear is not easy to sing beside but I can deal. I'm glad I didn't have to sit next to one of the gals I sat with in Vancouver and the lady behind me ports slightly like she is used to country music. As long as I have my favorite alto on my left ear, I'm happy.

At lunchtime Shelly and I found a place called Wok and Roll and ate outside. Inexpensive, filling and good.

The afternoon brought the orchestra and soloists. The bass soloist had a bit of difficulty with the ending of one recit and the men were raggedy but otherwise it went pretty well. The conductor cut the organ from one movement and had some difficulty with the camera setup which was fixed at break. He is an organist so he knew what stops needed to be used. The orgel is a huge thing in the back gallery. I know nothing about it.

During the break two of the altos' bleacher seats collapsed because they weren't locked in place. We learned later that one woman was injured but we know nothing more. My vocal folds were so coated with mucus that I had no idea what was going to come out of my mouth. I need to work on that this afternoon so I can really sing tonight. Probably need to drink lots more water today. Which means lots more time for something else. grump.

The evening was spectacular. We rode the Metro then walked down to the river for Cirque du Soleis. That is a very interesting setup. A huge complicated tent structure that takes a week to set up. When it is removed, an usher told us they find tons of popcorn. LOL. The program was Ovo - about bugs. My favorite part was a slinky-like worm-like thing but the trampoline and wall were fascinating. I sat there with my mouth gaping like a little kid. It was fun. Bette and her mother were there so the four of us took a cab back.

Today we have dress rehearsal in the morning and the afternoon "free". Ha. The afternoon is for shoving everything back in the car except concert and travelling clothes, music, computer and the coffee pot and for going over those nasty bits of music plus, if possible, a nap. We are grateful for buses to take us to the church tonight. It is about a 20 minute walk.

After the concert a party at which we usually roast the conductor tho we did not do so in Vancouver. Wine and beer flow and there are usually lots of hugs and goodbyes till next year. In Austria the party prefaced a miserable next day for me. I'm praying that is not repeated and don't think it will but I'm wary. If it does, it could be the misery of parting again for an unknown period.

I haven't talked to anyone who is also going to Sheffield the first week tho I'll admit I haven't talked to as many people as usual this week, mostly because we don't eat together except a brief breakfast. I'm looking forward to the meals at Sheffield. They are a great time to meet ew people and reestablish old summer friendships. The meals in Austria were together but not here or in Vancouver. That to me is a disadvantage.

Don't know if I will blog later. Will try to do so when I get home tomorrow but don't hold your breath. I need to sleep sometime and haven't done much of that here.

Friday shuffle from Montreal

1. Lonesome River - Here today
2. Mozart: Ach Ich Fulds - Maya Wirz
3. Walton: Where does the uttered music go? - Trinity Choir
4. Rheinberger: Mass, Credo - Phoenix Bach Choir
5. Breaking up is Hard to do - Neil Sedaka
6. Berlin: Blue Skies - Chanticleer
7. Looking for Love - J. Geils Band
8. He Will Break Your Heart - Jerry Butler
9. Mister, Can't You See? - Buffy Sainte-Marie
10. Light My Fire - José Feliciano

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Friday cat blogging on Thursday from Montreal

This fellow crossed my path yesterday and allowed me to take his photo. He disappeared thru a hole in a fence. Today on the way home I told Shelly that I had seen a cat there. Lo and behold, there he was peeking out of the fence hole watching everyone go by.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday not in Montreal

Today we took buses to Quebec City. A long ride. I think we all fell in love with the city, found it very romantic and would love to return. Unfortunately one of the buses broke down so some folks had a bit of an extended stay by Le Château Frontenac. Tough - except they were pretty tired by then. They said the repaired bus would arrive about half an hour after we left.

This is Quebec City's version of the Duquesne Incline.
This guy was playing a song (which was appropriate but I won't mention) on a glass harmonica.
Still the photographer - see my photos from Austria.
We visited the falls at Montmorency.
Didn't buy these but couldn't resist a photo.

Tomorrow we are in Église St.-Jean-Baptiste for the first time. Morning rehearsal just us then afternoon with orchestra. Tomorrow night Shelly and I and two other ladies will go to Cirque du Soleil. You may see a post tomorrow but don't count on it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday in Montreal - updated

There was one chorus this morning that seemed very unfamiliar but I had a marking or two so we had gone over it. Wonder where else I'm that lost.
UPDATE We ran the piece tonight. There are LOTS of places that seemed unfamiliar. Of course we have three more rehearsals but I definitely need to do some studying sometime between now and the concert. Argh.

The faculty gave a little concert after rehearsal. Those are always good and this one was especially fun. A song by Tom Lehrer and a special one by Rossini were featured. I won't say what or who in case someone reading this goes to Sheffield and they repeat them there.

Conductor Julian Wachner had an extended question and answer session after that. An amazingly talented young man. When asked if there were something he dreams of doing, he finally said that being the BSO conductor would be it.

This afternoon I set out to find the McGill bookstore. It was a bit of a walk but it was where the map said it should be. Bought a device for reading camera cards. Interesting that it was cheaper in Canadian dollars than at home. Also some blank CDs. Can now make CDs of photos for some folks.

Then I started home taking a different route. I didn't take a map but looked at it carefully, I thought, before I left. I got kind of lost and probably walked four or so miles including some hilly places. Had the iPhone with me but the battery was dying. Lasted just long enough to get me to a street that led home then died. Whew! Thanked my guardian angel profusely. Saw some interesting parts of Montreal. And didn't get any blisters tho one toe feels like it was developing one. Have had my exercise.

Meanwhile those who have read my blog for awhile know that I look for unique flowers and ducks wherever I go. Well I haven't seen any mallards yet. But I did get a photo of my favorite flower.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday in Montreal

Sometimes when we go back over stuff we did Saturday and yesterday it feels like I've never seen it before. Of course, when I've done something at BCF then go back to it years later I often wonder where my brain was the first time.

Our conductor Julian Wachner really is wonderful. He has all sorts of tricks to get problems cleared up. He reminds me of Brady Allred in some ways. I doubt I will ever sing Paulus again but I suspect I'll remember it if I do. And I'm learning How Lovely are the Messengers auf Deutsch.

We learned about next season. I signed up for one week in Sheffield conducted by Anton Armstrong. I've done the Poulenc Gloria. I've never done Rutter's Te Deum or Bizet's Te Deum. Haven't decided about Italy yet. I wish I had a specific person to go with and room with. If I decide against that I may go the first week to do Handel's Judas Maccabeus which I don't think I've ever sung. Our Austria conductor is doing that. The concert in Italy will be all a cappella including RVW's Mass in G. I would love to return to Montreal to work with Jane Glover but not to do Die Schöpfung (Creation). If anyone reading this is interested, email me and I'll send the rest of the schedule.

My roommate is happy. We finally have a phone, a working floor lamp and a working TV. I am going to regret the last. She watches stuff that will give me nightmares. Ugh.

Shelly and I planned to visit the Science Museum or whatever it is but we got started too late. We rode the Metro down to the waterfront and walked around a bit then came back. We found where Cirque du Soleil is. We will take the Metro down probably after rehearsal then find a cafe - there seem to be hundreds - until the performance at 8.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Evensong - updated Sun eve

Attended evensong at Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal this afternoon. All but one other person was from our group tho I couldn't see the people in the nave, if any. Church was HOT!!! For those who might be interested:

Prelude: Tierce en taille - de Grigny
Introit: O gladsome light - Bourgeois
P&R: Thomas Ebdon
Psalm: Cooper, Corfe
Hymn: 26 Te lucis, To Thee before the close of day
Mag & Nunc: Ridout
Anthem: Round me falls the night - Adam Drese
Hymn: 30 Ar Hyd Y Nos - God that madest earth and heaven
Postlude: P & F in a, BWV 543 - JSB

Sorry but I took no photos.

We have sung thru almost all Mendelssohn's Paulus (St. Paul) in 3 rehearsals. I still have some rough spots mainly due to the Deutsch. Julian Wachner has some second altos singing with the tenors now and then. Low Ds are fun. The president of Bach Choir of Pittsburgh knows the conductor and told me to say Hi for her.

Austria roommate Shelly finally got her suitcase this afternoon and is returning all my clothing. One of her friends bought a Mondsee shirt which is too small for her so Shelly gave it to me. It is too big for me but I don't care. Shelly is pretty meticulous. I'm not as you all know.

My roommate is from Singapore and is a pediatrician. She was at Vancouver with us last year and was surprised to see herself in my photos.

I'm sitting next to my favorite alto so all is well with me. So far.

Updated: Excitement! Shelly and I got VERY expensive tickets to Cirque du Soleil Thursday night. Can't wait. Neither of us has seen them live.