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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Retractions / corrections and additions : Winter Festival 2011

When you don’t speak a language well, there is always the chance that listening in on other’s conversations will get you bad information.  Misunderstanding verbs is my worst problem with language, and second to that is adjectives or adverbs.  So you can just imagine what comes out of my listening – not understand who (whom) is doing what and why.  When I am feeling good about myself and my new found language skills, I don’t ask for clarifications, taking my listening / understanding / asking skills – with apparently misplaced confidence.
winter festival 2011 schedule0001You may need to go back one post to see what I am talking about.   First retraction/correction: the Municipal Theater of Nova Friburgo holds 480 people not around 250.  While waiting for the doors to open for our second concert this week, we ask and received, directly, info versus counting seats and multiplying, (and not taking the balcony into account). 
Second retractions (the listening skills):  the concert series was organized by the Major’s office and was not separate from the Winter Festival 2011, but was a side event.  The main winter festival’s events are organized and sponsored by SESC Rio.  (www.sescrio.org.br) and in Nova Friburgo runs from July 8 – through the 31st.  There are also events in Petrópolis and Teresópolis – check the SESC web site for those events. 
Okay that is enough apology – that did sound like an apology didn’t it?-

DSCN0165[1]On Wednesday, we went in to town after DARK.  It wasn’t bad at all to drive our little curvy, country road at night.  We should do it more often.  We went in to see an Spanish / Argentine band Otros Aires, (piano, drum, a bandoneon, sometimes guitar) presenting “Milongas Electronicos”.  There were two arrangements done with only the bandoneon and piano that were (in my opinion) beyond excellent.  The use of old videos tied to the modern musical sounds was very interesting and well worth the drive.  They were only 15 minutes late starting and the show lasted a good hour and a half.
I don’t know if I said but these concerts were gratis (free) a contribution of food the only requirement for admittance. 

Finally, On Thursday, we went in late afternoon to listen to Miguel Proença performing “romantic” compositions.  The program listed Gluck-Kempff arrangement, Schubert, Schumann, Scriabin, and Chopin, and if I understood correctly, he substituted Schubert with a Grieg piece and then did Schubert on request at the end.  He was nearly 30 minutes late getting started but then played for 1 and a half hours.  After the standing ovation he played a tango – everyone left happy – again in my opinion.  Have you ever wondered how the classical pianist are able to play without music pages in front of them.... ?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Winter Festival 2011

Every year this area of Brasil has a winter festival.  It can happen any time between the middle of June and the first of August.  I have no clue as to why particular weeks are planned one year, and not another.  The last time I wrote about the festival was in August of 2008 – can you believe it – Three years ago....  I don’t know where the time goes.  All I know for sure is that time flies by and I can’t begin to tell you why I have missed winter festival in Nova Friburgo the last two years. 
Other years there has been a small newspaper that gives the times and places of all the activities, four or five pages of activities.  This year not only are there very few activities but they seem to be more cultural: piano concerts and a ballet versus street dances and choirs singing religious music in the park.  This year it also seems to be only one week, including only one weekend.  I know that this is because  the mayors office is short of cash, there are so many projects in place trying to get the city back to normal after the January slides.  It is a shame though because the city needs its tourists, and the town’s people need to have some family relaxation – ‘kick up your heels time’.   That all said I need to get to the point. 

Yesterday Camillo and I went into town for one of the ‘Concertos ao Meio-Dia’ – ‘concerts at mid-day’ series.  In the eight years we have lived here, we have been to maybe three other concerts.  This is one of the activities that we enjoyed in Houston and I miss it.  When living in the states we went about four times a year to the opera, the symphony, to a play or a musical, to say nothing about going dancing once a week, and here we just don’t seem to keep track or actively pursue these pastimes and we should.
I was totally impressed.  The Municipal Theater of Nova Friburgo – Teatro Municipal de Nova Friburgo - seats about 250 (a rough count while waiting for the concert to start) and is comfortable and has excellent sound.  We were entertained for over an hour and half by Aleyson Scopel and Ronaldo Rolim, both young Brasilian pianists, playing Prokofiev’s , and Rachmaninov’s concert for piano No 2, respectively.  We will go out again on Thursday.  I didn’t ask to see / hear what, just said YES!