|Paulo Faustini & Joseph Flummerfelt post-concert, Montefalco, Italy.|
The weather is dipping down into the 30's here in Manhattan as I write. But what am I thinking about? Summer, linen shorts, dry red Sagrantino wine from Montefalco, golden light, and singing on the Duomo porch in Spoleto, Italy with Umbrian Serenades. I hope to return to dolce Umbria with Paulo Faustini's wonderful group of singers in July.
UMBRIAN SERENADES is a CHORAL and CULTURAL program that brings together passionate singers, amateurs and professionals alike, who seek opportunities to perform exquisite a cappella repertoire spanning from the 16th to the 21st centuries, under JOSEPH FLUMMERFELT, Musical America's 2004 Conductor of the Year, in art-filled venues throughout the breathtaking region of UMBRIA. These "Serenaders" and their travel companions also "taste" and "savor" what the GREEN HEART OF ITALY offers culturally, be it art, history, olive oil, local foods and wines.
There I am below with Paulo and Maestro Flummerfelt on the Duomo porch for an informal concert in 1985. Paulo and I are standing next to each other in the second row from the bottom on the left, looking like we are having the time of our lives. And we did. That summer, we sang in Puccini's La Fancuilla del West, swathed in Fendi furs, climbing scaffolding in ninety degree heat. It snowed onstage, of course, while we dripped with sweat. But that's the beauty of theatre: you can make the impossible happen if you dream big enough. It was also the summer I had my debut, singing the baritone solos in Gabriel Fauré's Requiem in the Duomo. Italians being Italian, clapped after every movement- and it was wonderful.
I encourage you to dream big and apply to Paulo's program. He has created something extraordinary. Whether you are returning to Spoleto has I did two years ago, or experiencing it for the first time, you will realize why Gian Carlo Menotti established the Festival of Two Worlds there. It is a beautiful place. The kind of place that haunts your dreams.
The deadline for applications is January 7th, 2013.
You can find many more photos of Spoleto and Umbria on my Tumblr blog which you will find in the right hand column below my profile. And if you click on the 'label' below, you will find my other posts on Umbrian Serenades, some of which include sounds clips. Please feel free to email me if you'd like to know more about the program.