To G-d’s Ears – Part I

What an unbelievably moving and inspiring evening tonight was! Since it is now after 1 in the morning, Rome time, and I need to be up early for our papal audience, I will divide the post into two parts.

We rehearsed this morning in our hotel and then headed to the Basilica for a few hours of rehearsal in the performance area itself. It was a huge and magnificent space. This basilica is where all of the official state functions take place – events like state funerals. It was so beautiful that I snuck off every chance that I got to take pictures! But there weren’t many chances.

I have sung in many large churches in my life, but nothing compared to this. The space was just so humongous that I worried the entire program might become lost in echo!

The organ in the church is, according to the man in charge, “one of the most wonderful in Europe.” It certainly was beautiful, and huge, but what would it sound like? Would it swallow the voices completely on those few songs that we had decided would be accompanied with organ? We wouldn’t know. The capelmeister in charge of the organ wouldn’t be in until 5 and we could not turn it on without him! He arrived during our dinner break. We heard the organ for the first time at 7:05 pm, or so… When we were singing the second piece in the concert program! It sounded… Perfect! But, I am getting ahead of myself. This post is only supposed to be about the time leading up to tonight’s concert.

Our dressing room was an exquisite mini-chapel with an amazing acoustic all its own! Once we were dressed in suits and tallit, ready to go out, we sang shehecheyanu, the prayer that thanks G-d for bringing us to this special day. We then lined up and processed into the basilica. As we stood in the back of the room, listening to the Monsignor introduce us in Italian, I suddenly felt my eyes fill with tears. G-d was smiling.

To be continued…


11 thoughts on “To G-d’s Ears – Part I

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  1. Sally ~
    I have chills reading this. I was telling a few folks at Temple Emanuel today about your participation in this amazing trip and everyone was so excited for you. Mazel Tov and thank you for being a part of this holy work. I can not wait to read more. Will there be a CD available at some point?

  2. It sounds so grand, so majestic. I can hardly describe my feelings as I read your post. My heart is all pit-a-pat with excitement and curiosity. I am excited for you and curious about what happened next. I can’t wait for the next ‘chapter’. I am so proud of you and feel so blessed to be able to follow you on this journey. Thank you for your wonderful descriptions.

  3. This is so cool. The experience & the blog. Can you post video or audio on your blog? Your narrative is great but it’s hard to imagine how the sound fills the space and I know it’s magnificent.

  4. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing the photos and your thoughts and feelings. It really feels like we are there with you. What a treat to sing in that space. We can’t wait to read more….

  5. Sally,
    Having visited there several times I can only imagine what singing there must have been like.
    What an amazing experience and I am kvelling and living it through you. I can’t wait to hear the rest.

  6. Sally,
    I am SO enjoying your posts! What a wonderful opportunity you are having! Treasure every moment!

  7. Did you or David take these magnificent photos? Thank you so much for the sensory details. I feel so connected to this experience. It’s late afternoon in Rome now. I look forward to hearing about today’s adventures.

  8. How can you not be overwhelmed with emotion when involved in something this magnificent and meaningful! Looking forward to more…Libby

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