Tour Preview: When in Rome…

22 April 2019

‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ – a French proverb from the late 1100s that wasn’t recorded in English until 1545, meaning that complex tasks take time and effort and should not be rushed. This has certainly been true in the planning of our upcoming tour to Rome.

Some things fall into place much easier than others
but now we are all ready for the off, all 184 of us. 
Singers from each of our Inspiration families and our sister choir Scherzo will arrive in Rome on 25th April,
via six flights and six coaches, ready to let the people
in Rome experience what our home audiences experience each term – joyous singing from the heart.

We are staying at the lovely four-star Metropole Hotel and our first morning will begin with a briefing and rehearsal warm up in one of their meeting rooms.
If the other residents are asleep, they won’t be for long once they hear the wall of sound Inspiration can make.

Preparation done and we’re off for our first performance at the wonderful Sant’Agnese in Agone, a 17th century Baroque church which faces onto the Piazza Navona, one of the main historic central squares, with beautiful fountains and architecture as well as the all important café culture. We’ll sing one or two songs on the steps outside (hopefully in the sunshine) and then move inside, taking the assembled crowd with us, for our more formal performance. Free time in the afternoon and evening will give singers the opportunity to wander the city, sample the culinary delights and enjoy the odd glass or two of Italian wine (when in Rome!).

The following morning we are off to tour the Colosseum, the largest amphitheatre ever built. No trip to Rome would be complete without including this in the itinerary. The afternoon sees our performance in the Pantheon. Described as the most preserved and influential building of Ancient Rome, it was built by Emperor Hadrian between A.D 118 and 125 – a nice connection for us further north – he wasn’t just famous for the wall! We’ve said it before but this really is the most fabulous venue to be singing in. The wonderful acoustics will suit us perfectly. Imagine singing ‘Sanctus’, ‘Til I Hear You Sing’, ‘The Lord Bless You And Keep You’, to name but a few, in such a wonderful setting that is always full of people no matter what time of the year. More lovely food and wine that evening and time to reflect on our first two main days.

On Sunday we have some free time in the morning and early afternoon. Perhaps a good chance to take in the city sights on an open top bus (red Inspiration hoodies obligatory!), a spot of shopping or maybe people watching (with gelato of course) around the Trevi Fountain, before assembling on the Spanish Steps for a ‘spot performance’. What will we sing on the steps? The betting is open! After singing here we wander up the steps to do our second spot performance in the beautiful gardens of Villa Borghese, which offers one
of the greatest views over Rome. The Villa itself was
built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio who used it as
a ‘villa suburbana’ or party villa – hmmm.

No tour of Rome would be complete without a tour of the Vatican Museum, so that’s our destination on Monday. The Vatican needs no further explanation and we’ll end our tour by performing Mass in St Peter’s Basilica – yes really! The sense of occasion could seem quite overwhelming but where better to ring out the Hallelujah Chorus than here? I’m sure there won’t be a dry eye among the singers and it will definitely be one for the memory book.

All good things come to an end but I’m sure the experiences we will have in Rome will add to the archive
of tours and special occasions that will be relived for years to come, just as Paris, New York, Vienna and Salzburg have done.

Now, will there be anywhere to buy a pizza?

Inspiration Tour to Rome 2019 Inspiration Tour to Rome 2019 Inspiration Tour to Rome 2019 Inspiration Tour to Rome 2019