I have been vacationing with Umbrian Serenades for the last six years (the program was founded eleven years ago) and will be singing with the program in Soria, Spain, this coming summer. Very excited to be doing so, the program will have a personal component for me because I lived in Spain as a child from the age of 10 to 13—residing in both Bilbao and Valencia. Not having returned to Spain since then, I look forward to revisiting the cities and places that captured my imagination. (There is an amazing Moorish fortress just outside Valencia—in particular—that I am eager to see again.)
Designed by Paulo Faustini with the greatest care, the program's core is one of gorgeous choral music with the added addition of a recital series. Contained within the context of delectable cultural tastings (we're talking amazing culinary delights) and locals and experiences, the program has a transformative effect on participants—one to which I can attest since I wrote my first book after my first trip (yes, working on a second). I came home after that wonderful trip and knew what I had to do and how I was going to do it. Seeing that I had been sitting on the project for a number of years, the program provided the necessary catalyst for me to—ahem—get off my ass and get it done.
Singing does that. Did you know that? Singing changes things by rewiring the connections in our brains, helping us see ourselves and others anew. I believe this is why we go to the opera, the art song recital—which is a very intimate endeavor both for the singer and the listener—the synagogue, church, and mosque. Singing is transformative.
Come be part of it in Spain. See the video for more information, then visit Paulo's site here. He is still accepting applications.