The Laughing Singer

The Laughing Singer
Originally uploaded by Daniel Greene

I sang a cappella in the chapel (redundant, I know)! 😀 I’m laughing because I had just posed like an opera singer with my mouth open and my hands out and then cracked up because I embarrassed myself. There’s an interesting story behind this. A woman in our tour group asked me if I wanted her to take my photo with the chapel behind me because I had just sung in it. How did that come to be? Well, it all began when I saw our tourguide in the restaurant where we all stopped for lunch. He was sitting by himself at a table and I walked up and said, “Ah… tutto sole?” (meaning, “Aw… all alone?” in Italian). He asked me how I knew Italian, and I told him from musical terminology and opera. He asked if I were a singer, and I said yes. Then he told me we were going to be going into a chapel that was designed to be acoustically perfect, and he asked if I would be willing to sing a line or two so everyone could hear. I said sure. I was thinking I would sing the first few lines of “Que Gelida Manina” until we got to the church and I realized that a song from La Boheme would not be appropriate. I racked my brain for something spiritual to sing, and I recalled a short solo I had sung in my senior year at the School of Creative & Performing Arts: the “Benedictus” phrase from Hans Schubert’s “Mass in G.” For those of you who don’t know it, the phrase is “Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini” which is Latin for “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” I sang it and everyone was pleased. Several people came up to me to thank me personally. I was just glad that the pleasure I had in singing was not selfish, but was considered a gift to others, which is ideal. So, this was a perfectly spontaneous photo to commemorate a wonderfully fortuitous occasion.

(Taken by a fellow tourist in the courtyard by the side of the Cathedral of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy, with the chapel in the background.)







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