Sunday, June 26, 2016

Concert at Sant'Eustachio

The Basilica di Sant'Eustachio is one of John and my favourite churches in Rome. We love its Romanesque belfry and its elegant 18th century Baroque exterior.
It is instantly identifiable by the stag of St Eustace mounted on the peak of the roof.
We often pass the church on our travels around the city -- it lies in the Historic Centre between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.  The church has a longtime mission of helping the poor of Rome.
and presents regular free musical concerts to raise funds by donation. We've attended several concerts but last night's Voci in Canto (Voices in Song) was the best.
The dapper musical director and organist, Paolo Tagliaferri, introduced three very talented sopranos
(l to r) Hera Zerva, Marianna Bazali and Victorina Eekeloo (mezzosoprano). Each of them sang two solos by the likes of Handel, Vivaldi, Bach and Mendelssohn.
Miss Ivanshchenko's performance of Vavilov's Ave, Maria was simply thrilling. How wonderful it must be to discover that your voice is up to such a challenge!
John and I particularly enjoyed the duets. The blending of voices was exquisite.
As a climax to the evening the three women sang Handel's Consolati, o bella from the gallery in front of the 18th century organ. The acoustics in Sant'Eustachio are superb.
What an Italian evening! Monsignor Pietro Sigurani, the delightful and ebullient Rector of the church thanked the performers. John and I will remember his humorous and yet touching speech in support of the poor of Rome.

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