In February 2009, I spent another gruelling week in a convent in northern Italy. We rehearse in a Renaissance ballroom, sleep in monk’s cells and eat in the fabulous dining room. It’s a tough life.
We had long days of rehearsals but a few hours free in the afternoons and I went for walks in the hills above the convent with lovely views of the Dolomites.
On Friday we flew to Madrid and had a concert there on Saturday in the Teatro Real, THE opera house in Spain.
I prepared for the concert by going to one of my favorite museums on the planet, the Prado. And saw some of my favorite paintings on the planet: Rogier van der Weyden‘s Descent from the Cross:
Hieronymus Bosch‘s Seven Deadly Sins:
and the gorgeous furniture in the main halls:
I also enjoyed my little walk around Madrid, passing right by the Royal Palace:
The concert wasn’t great but was broadcast live on the radio, SURPRISE! Listeners said it sounded good, though. The next morning we bussed three hours to Valladolid for a second concert that night. It went much better, if you could ignore the 4 members of the orchestra turning green and rushing off stage during the applause — big flu epidemic among us. Luckily, yours truly was not affected. The 7.30AM bus ride back to the airport was filled with fun and excitement: