by Melinda Gallo

Carmina Burana in the Giardino di Boboli

Last night was a hot, summer evening. The sun was about to set over the Arno when Alessandro and I walked over the Ponte alle Grazie. We made our way through the crowded streets down to Porta Romana. The Piazza Pitti is always such a surprise for me after having walked down the narrow via Guicciardini. We entered the entrance of the Giardino di Boboli at Porta Romana an hour before the performance would begin. My friend Jenufa was singing Carmina Burana again this year. I had missed her performance last year, so when I heard she was going to be the soprano for Carmina Burana, I couldn't wait to go.

Living in Florence :: Carmina Burana in the Giardino di Boboli

Jenufa asked that I also try to take a few photos of her because she didn't have any from her performances, so I brought in my camera with me. We had done a couple of photo shoots together and she liked some of the shots I took of her. I was flattered that she wanted me to take some more. Even though I'm still a novice, I do enjoy taking photos.

The woman at the biglietteria (ticket office) handed me an envelope after I told her that there were tickets waiting for me. I opened up the envelope and saw two front row tickets. I was so excited that i almost jumped up and down. I don't think I've ever been fortunate to have front row seats before at any performance I've been to.

We waited in the giardino (garden) for them to open the entrance. We could see the back of the stadium built for these outdoor concerts. When we finally got inside the gate, we walked to our seats, which were in the middle of the theatre. There were six other rows in front of us, but set apart from us. I wouldn't have been able to sit there and take photos, so we had the perfect seats for me.
While we waited for the performance to begin, we enjoyed the quiet setting in the giardino where the air was considerably cooler.

After the musicisti (musicans) came out, the direttore d'orchestra (conductor) led the orchestra to play Bolero. Only a few instruments started off lightly and then more and more musicisti joined in so the music crescendoed. It was so beautiful that the music sent chills up my spine. I certainly didn't want it to end, but I was so excited about seeing Jenufa come out to sing.

I was ecstatic when Jenufa walked onto the stage behind the other two cantanti d'opera (opera singers). She was wearing a beautiful black gown and looked stunning. I was so impressed to see her look so comfortable on stage. All three of them sat down and only stood up when it was their turn to sing. I was amazed how their voices flowed out of them so effortlessly. Tears came to my eyes when Jenufa sang. Her voice floated through the air like a feather that gently grazed each one of us.

I took a couple of foto (photos), including the one here, when she stopped singing while the orchestra continued playing. I was afraid to take any foto while she was singing because the music was so soft and I didn't want people to be disturbed my the shutter of my macchina fotografica (camera) making noise.

I was sad when it was the end of the performance because I could've sat there for hours listening to them all.

We met up with Jenufa when she exited the stage to thank her for the tickets. It was such a fabulous and magical performance. Alessandro and I stopped in at Piazza Santo Spirito to grab a quick drink. The piazza was filled with people sitting on the steps in front of the chiesa (church) and standing all around. We quickly drank our drinks and left to continue our walk home.

When we walked over Ponte Santa Trinità, I looked out at the Ponte Vecchio I felt an amazing sense of joy. How could I not after having been to an amazing performance with my husband in my beloved city.

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