Potpourri & The Twelfth Week in Sicily

Do you know that there is Heaven on Earth too? If you do, then you are blessed, if you don`t, I`m telling you there is. This week I experienced Heaven in two ways here: first, culturally, with Spanish guitar sounds, live rhythm, sopranos and tenors and then, naturally, among the panoramas that join the land and the sea, on exotic little islands, amid rocks and colorful boats.

Do you remember the concerts I told you about last weeks, those held in Sant Antonio Basilica? This weekend they played the third concert out of the five of this season and this one has been the most spectacular so far. I literally felt chills down on my spine … The show was made of several exceptional interpretations, combining classical music, Spanish guitar, live rhythms, choir and percussion. Ersu Choir and Orchestra in collaboration with the Sicilian Lyric Choir and Ritmo live Multiethnic Orchestra, all conducted by Francesco Costa, filled the church with people, with Argentinian, Brazilian, classical and exotic rhythms of sacred music, force and energy.

The special guests were soprano Giovanna Collica and guitarist Agatino Scuderi and a young tenor, Dave Monaco, who interpreted Misa Criolla, an exquisite synthesis of folk, popular and sacred music (the formula which combines Hispano-American musical themes and tradition with those of the religious mass is simply unique!), composed by the Argentinian Ariel Ramirez for soloists, choir and orchestra – an expression of a purely folk musical form characterized by the presence of typical  Latino-American instruments and rhythms.

I`m telling you in earnest that I had never before listened to such mixture, it is absolutely   fantastic and the interpretation was exemplary, but everybody knows that the Italian are widely known as great musicians, to say the least…. And surprise! For those who haven`t heard yet, guitarist Agatino Scuderi also played in Romania with various orchestras from Craiova, Bacau, Ploiesti, Targu  Mures.

And obviously, since I am a little nosy I managed to talk to them eventually and I hope I will soon have the recording of the concert to post it on “You tube” for you to have the opportunity to enjoy the same experience as I did – even if the acoustics is rather different live….

I had a second divine revelation when I visited Giardini –Naxos and Bella Island, two touristic resorts near Messina. I guess you remember my old saying “and I woke up at 5 a.m., again”, which has been my habit of late each and every Saturday. Well, at dawn I left for (Giardini-) Naxos, the oldest Greek colony, made of sedimentary lava, where today can be seen the remains of the antique settlement. It was too early for a visit in the archaeological park so I walked on the quay and reached Taormina Cape, a high terrace from where one can admire the whole resort, and then climbed down on the other side of the mountain toward Bella Island, a beautiful oasis turned into a natural reserve and which is also known as the Mediterranean Pearl. I traveled the whole distance between the resorts on foot, but it was worth every minute of it. I crossed the cold water to see the Island, with two panorama spots arranged for tourists to admire the boat bay and the Taormina Cape, and I walked alongside dozens of other tourists, through the stone galleries and luxuriant vegetation which clad the little oasis.

So, I`m now going to let you enjoy these beautiful pictures, which I chose among the hundreds I took and which I would like to show them to you one day, hoping that next week I will be able to show you more dream-like places from wonderful Sicily.

Translated by prof. Irina Bicescu – Potpourri member