Ronda and Flamenco

Our time in Granada ended this morning with a hearty breakfast and the memories of a wonderful first stop on our trip. As I mentioned in my last post, we were all pretty tired by the end of the day and I think everyone was eager to get to bed. Singing a concert is indeed a lot of work, but doing so after a full day in a foreign city is another story. When I woke up this morning, some of the parents that attended the concert showed me a few pictures that they took as we sang. As the sun set over the Hospital, it was quite beautiful. Where we were located on stage, we didn't even notice that it was happening. I will post a picture just as soon as I can get to a place with reliably robust wi-fi. Either the hotel's system is intermittent, or all of its residents are currently watching Netflix!

We departed Granada for our next stop, Seville. En route we stopped in the small town of Ronda. It was a lovely town which also boasts a magnificent bridge as well as the oldest bull fighting ring in Spain. Naturally, several of us visited both and wandered the town for a few hours. The buildings of Ronda are mostly painted white in order to reflect the penetrating heat of the sun. I found it interesting that several residents of Ronda have been known to develop cataracts since it is so bright there. It made sense even after only a few hours!

We again loaded our bus and made our way to our final destination of the day, Seville. Just getting off the bus, it was clear that the next few days will be very warm. Seville is very hot this time of year (and even hotter in July and August), but we will quickly get over that once we get into the city to look around. For now, we had the pleasure of seeing an authentic Flamenco show.

What most people think of Flamenco shows is a big stage, lots of different dancers, and castanets. At least that's what I thought it was going to be. It was not that at all. It was a very intimate space with a very small stage. An incredible solo guitarist accompanied a brilliant and authentic Spanish singer as a beautiful woman danced with complete commitment and passion. Actually, the more I think about, it doesn't go far enough to say the three of them were committed and passionate. The dancing, playing, and singing were done with every fiber of their being. It was exceedingly authentic and inspiring. In fact, Cesar, our Spanish tour manager, said that this was not a "tourist performance" but the "real thing." I was extremely impressed. Again, once I find some good internet service, I will get some pictures out there.

Upon congratulating the performers, we returned to the hotel for a nice dinner and a bit of free time. On "travel days" we have a bit more freedom with the schedule, so I gave the choristers a bit of time just to hang out with each other. Even though they're on the bus for hours together, it's not the same as being in the hotel. Plus, most of them were sleeping the entire time anyway!

Tomorrow, we start the day with a walking tour of Seville. Lunch will include authentic Spanish paella. Then it's rest up for a concert in the city at the Iglesias deal Santo Angel. I will look forward to telling you all about it!