|Interior of St. Stephen's|
Vienna is a simply beautiful city – even in the depths of winter – it comes alive with the sounds of festival balls – dances – waltzes – and music unlike any other time of the year, and in complete opposition to what one would expect. First of all the city is amazing in and of itself.
Our hotel is right next door to one of Beethoven’s homes….he wrote the 9th Symphony there. Before we get too exited about that, however, we did learn that he moved 69 times in the 35 years he lived in Vienna. Seems he was a bit of a “wear out your welcome” kinda guy. Still its cool to know that we are in his neighborhood.
|The Choir performed a 30-minute set at the Cathedral|
|Maren Engle's "Beautiful Savior"|
|Exterior of St. Stephen's|
Following the noon mass, at this most famous venue in Vienna (built in 1210) the Choir marched in and took their place at the appointed space for visiting choirs. When they began to sing, people came forward, and came forward, and came forward. Paul Nesheim told me, “Every time I turned around, there were more people there!” And it was true.
The gentleman host from St. Stephen’s remarked to Paul, “Oh my, finally…basses!” I guess he’s heard a lot of “bottomless choirs” lately. J He presented the Choir with a certificate of appreciation and acknowledged that he had no idea that the Choir would be this good. (What a nice thing to hear, eh?)
|Just too funny. :-)|
|Imagine. Only in Vienna!|
|In front of Schoenbrunn|
We had visions of the Band in Cairo today when our bus made detour to avoid a demonstration. Two groups were protesting today. The first was against “rigged” soccer events and the second, more vocal, was a group demanding that Austria “get out” of the European Union, I guess you can’t please everybody…..
|These are the illegal interior photos......|
Choir member Ben (“I wear shorts in winter”) Winkler was in charge of tonight’s activities as he single handedly arranged students tickets at the StatdtsOper (Vienna Opera House) opening night of La Cenerentola (Cinderella). We got back to the hotel and almost thirty of our group spiffed up and took off for their “big night” on the town. Dr Nitz led another group of 15 or so to a Beethoven restaurant a train, bus and walk from the hotel. Both groups returned safely, and happily – although some of the opera folks complained about neck pain from their “partial view” seats. Still, it was a wonderful evening for all.
A note about another day I’ve been told I forgot to mention in an earlier blog…..one of our fondest memories of Prague was St. Havel where the man who let us into the church also did the following: led the Choir to the balcony, turned on the lights, lit the candles, brought a chair our to the altar – took off his shoes – climbed up on the altar to light the bigger candles– got down from the altar and disappeared. Two minutes later, he reappeared in vestments to assist the priest, served as cantor, took up the offering, helped serve communion, well…..you get the idea. Seems to us that this church knows how to stretch it’s budget. J
|Ben Winkler has this t-shirt, below the face, it says "Pizza Hut." Oddly enough, it looks like Kyle.......|