Saturday, May 2, 2009

May Day

So we came back from a party at alberto’s. It’s a traditional May Day event. A lot of wine, good pasta and a hundred people. Maria was still hanging on her wine so we left her and took Barbara back instead. Barbara’s a Roman Romana with roots from the beginning of time and lives in the center near us.

On the short walk from where we parked the car to our apartment we passed a small piazza on Via Monserrato. A May Day concert was about to begin. There were maybe a hundred seats in the small area a hundred feet long by fifty feet wide. The technicians were setting up. Folding chairs were brought in as the crowd grew. There was a grand piano left of center stage, twenty orchestra seats behind that, and then four opera singers testing their microphones. That got our attention.

Those performers were top professionals and I knew those tunes, they tested fractions of the hits; so we stayed. This is a free concert. Various areas of the city have these May Day events for the citizens, and that’s us.

Things looked about ready to start, but It took another half hour for the other musicians to arrive. The hundred of us waited patiently. Finally a senator I didn’t recognize, a priest and musician each welcomed the crowd. A Stradivarius violin made in 1616 was a featured instrument in the first work on the program – a concerto by Sergei Prokofiev.

Then a pianist from Moscow, internationally heralded, awarded and renowned Pavel Egorov and the orchestra did a concerto by Schumann. The piano was turned so the audience was looking over the right shoulder of Pavel. Seeing the comfort, ease, dash and flurry of an accomplished pianist was worth the whole winter long wait for this performance with a ring side seat. He can really shake ‘em down.

The final section of the program featured the four singers, who sang together and separately. Two men, two women. I remember O solo mia, Figero, Mimi’s theme from La Boehme, Puccini’s Nesun Dorma. They finished with a the four of them doing Arrivederci Roma.

Arrivederci Roma, and thank you.

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