Salvatore Basile, author of Fifth Avenue Famous: The Extraordinary Story of Music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral blogs on his recent trip with St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir to Rome:
Fresh off the plane from Rome yesterday. I was quite proud of myself, thinking that I’d handled the problem of jet lag extremely well—until later in the evening when I was on the phone with a friend, describing the Papal audience in St. Peter’s Square, and heard myself saying, “Then they moved us into the front row, and it provided that real bachelor’s-party atmosphere.”
(No, I have absolutely no idea where that mental overlap came from.)
Allow me to explain. The St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir has just returned from its participation in this year’s Festival Internazionale di Musica e Arte Sacra, a series of musical performances which took place throughout Rome’s major churches. It was a singular invitation (we were the only Americans asked to participate) that placed us on the program with such colleagues as the Vienna Philharmonic. But while the Wiener Philharmoniker gave a single performance, the Cathedral Choir had a more intensive schedule, singing not only a full-length concert, but five Masses, three of which took place in St. Peter’s Basilica . . . and to top it off we wound up, er, being asked (!!) to provide music for Wednesday’s Papal audience. Further details on that experience later.
Personally, it was my first time in Europe, and an astonishing introduction. I just wish it had happened in time to make it into Fifth Avenue Famous.
Tune in tomorrow for more on Sal’s trip to Rome!