Tuesday, July 3, 2007

1812 Overture

For several days, the Piazza della Signoria was wrecked with equipment being put in place for a concert in front of the Loggia. The concert was the final one of the summer series, and some people purchased tickets for a seat at a very high price. The stage and sound equipment filled most of the piazza and there was standing room in the very back.

The orchestra played selections by Tchaikovsky including the Romeo and Juliette Overture, Fantasia, Concerto No. 1 and the 1812 Overture which included fireworks over the Piazza and a performance by a choir! It was spectacular!

The piazza was crowded, from corner to corner with people standing to listen. The sound was incredibly good for a temporary outside venue, and even though the evening was warm, there was a slight breeze blowing to make it comfortable among the crowd. The performance lasted for almost 2 hours and as people came and went, we inched closer and closer to the front of the crowd. Italians are very respectful of classical music and the crowd was quiet for the most part, with the exception of the loud drunk Americans on the outskirts of the crowd. (There are some in every crowd, creating an "undesirable stereotype" for the rest of the world.)

The fireworks display was from the top of the Loggia, which is connected to the Uffizi. The sky was filled with fire and sparks and debris floated in the sky over the piazza. The display sounded in unison with the overture and cannon blasts. Wow! I bet it made Tchaikovsky proud!

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