Two weeks ago concluded the great musical event, part of Matera 2019 – Abitare l’Opera. I also had a chance to participate there by singing in dialect as a part of Matera citizens.
First day, together with other volunteers, I went to Abitare l’Opera rehearsal for curiosity, to see what was it about. I never thought that I would actually continue to go there for all following weeks, on daily basis, and make it to the final concerts! But you never say never! I had an experience of singing in a choir before in Latvia so continuing to do it here in Italy seemed a great thing to try, also to compare this tradition of singing in both countries 🙂
First of all, it was a challenging experience. The songs were traditional and all in dialect such as La cupa cupa, Rosinella. During the rehearsals all together with selected group of “actors”, we “citizens” had to learn traditional Materan songs , while the group of actors was performing theatrical dances by creating the scenes based on seven “sins”( sette peccati). The rehearsals were quite a serious commitment, they lasted for about 3 weeks, 4 times per week. We really needed to be well prepared, learn all the lyrics by heart. But everything was always in a very nice atmosphere cause the choir conductor was very friendly and supportive. Since me and girls ( Jana, Ieva, Judith) were foreigners, he always made sure we understood things he was explaining 🙂
One of the interesting aspects of all this huge spectacle was the arrangement of space. Each scene was held in a different location so all the time we were moving from one place to another, having as a starting point the main street down the office of Fondazione in Sassi and the last stop was near by Piazza San Pietro Caveoso from where after started the next part of Opera- spectacle Cavalleria Rusticana.
It was an impressive work that was carried out by the coordinators of this project. Starting from the equipment involved, the costumes. We, choir singers, had to dress in natural colors (beige, black), while the team of actors were wearing masks representing different animals (parrots, monkeys), they were changing their outfits accordingly to each scene.
The first big day of spectacle- the general rehearsal was a moment of excitement. There was a large public that came to watch us, there were many cameras all around filming us, and it all wouldn’t have been the same without the help of many volonteers that were there to support the event by coordinating the flows of spectators.