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Sant’Angelo in Vado – 25th – 28th July 2008

La generosità e la cordialità del sindaco, dei finanziatori e del popolo di Sant’Angelo in Vado rimarranno con noi per sempre. Un grandissimo ringraziamento da parte del coro “Amici del Canto”.

Sant'Angelo in Vado

Sant’Angelo in Vado

Well, what can we say about our trip to the utterly charming town of Sant’Angelo in Vado in the beautiful Marche region of Italy? To our most genial hosts it’s obviously, «mille, mille grazie» for making us feel so welcome and for their generous hospitality which was beyond anything we could have expected.From the very beginning we were treated to the finest hospitality anyone could wish to receive, accommodated in two of the city’s lovely hotels and wined and dined at every turn. To begin, we were given a tour of the city by our tour guide Cristina who provided an extremely interesting commentary of all the many points of interest in Sant’Angelo, before we attended a reception with the city’s officials where we were presented with gifts and we, in turn, made our own presentation. We were then treated to a lavish lunch before getting down to the serious business of preparing for that evening’s performance at the Teatro Zuccari.

Performing at the Teatro Zuccari

Performing at the Teatro Zuccari

Prior to our performance we were serenaded by the city’s brass band who played a selection of British and Italian melodies including the national anthems of both countries which really made us feel at home. Our concert opened with recitals by William and David Shaw, the sons ofNigel Shaw, on piano and violin respectively, who gave virtuosic performances and who were received with great acclaim. We then presented a programme of mostly secular music from some of the great English madrigalists as well as pieces by Henry Purcell, Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams before finishing with the rousing Hebrew Slave Chorus from Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco. From there we moved outside to where we had been invited to sample the party atmosphere of the city’sFiesta and where we reprised some of the madrigals.

Performing at the Basilica Cattedrale

Performing at the Basilica Cattedrale

The following day we headed for the beautiful Basilica Cattedrale in the heart of the city, where we contributed to the Sunday mass by singing extracts from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Jesu, Priceless Treasure during the Eucharist. As soon as the service was complete, we gave our programme of sacred music from Italian and British composers such as: Claudio Monteverdi, William Byrd, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Henry Purcell and Edward Elgar as well as Georg Frideric Handel; for which we received standing ovations and demands for encores!For our final day we were treated to a fascinating tour, by our tour guide Michelangelo, of the important and beautiful city of Urbino, the birthplace of Raffaello. We then returned to the airport for our evening flight home to the United Kingdom; sad to be leaving yet taking with us new friendships with some wonderful people and more fantastic memories than we ever anticipated.

The generosity and geniality of the Mayor, sponsors and people of Sant’Angelo in Vado will be something that will always stay with us and to whom we pass on our most sincere thanks.