*in heavy French accent* Bonne journee et bonjour, welcome to the place du pan au chocolate, des croissants, et vraiment boucoup de vin.
During our time in Paris (pronounced pear-ee), the Dins were certainly living la vie en rose (coincidentally, a song which we slid into our sets a few times, for the wonderful Sydney Mukasa #234 to serenade our francophone audiences in their own tongue!)
Hosted by some gracious individuals from the Harvard Club of Paris, we stayed for about four days in the beautiful City. As far as sightseeing, from the Musee de’Orsay to the Sacre-Coeur on Montmarte to the Louvre and Sainte-Chapelle, we saw the sights and heard the sounds from edge to edge of Paris, as much as we could see in the few days that we were there.
Our highlighted performances in Paris were definitely those at the Travellers’ Club and a joint performance at the Church Notre Dame du Travail as a part of Fete de la Musique with a Basque choir whom we’ve performed with on tours past. In the former, we performed for a small audience in a sitting room sort of setting, which always gives that up-close-and-personal sort of vibe, where you get to single out audience members and create an individually-cultured experience for each person. For the latter, the joint performance with the Basque choir, we sang a couple songs jointly in Basque, which was a load of fun. Learning new music and singing in different styles is always a welcome learning opportunity, and it shows us how far we’ve come in just a year of singing together, when we can work up songs in just a day or two. After our performance for Fete de la Musique, we shared an evening at a Basque restaurant, where the two groups traded songs and merriment over traditional food and drink. For dessert, we were all treated to some Gateaux Basque, a miraculous almond custard cake served with berry jam!
We also had the chance to make a short excursion over to Chantilly (pronounced shan-tee) to perform for a fundraiser for their local church, Saint Peter’s. This fundraiser was to kickstart a new initiative to renovate the stained glass, as the church celebrates its 100th anniversary. The performance in Chantilly goes down as one of my favorite of tour so far, and I’m sure will be one of the treasured memories years down the road. We performed en plein air, in a private garden theatre overlooking a beautiful pond and perfectly preened gardens. During our performance, some peacocks were calling to one another across the stage, sounding like screaming youngins, and to the amusement of all performers and audience members present, one wandered onto our stage during the performance of our song What a Wonderful World!
After the peacock was gently shooed away, another approached from the other side and thought about following suit, but it reconsidered and left us to finish our set. Never would I have expected to have a performance in the Dins to be interrupted by a peacock, let alone two! We actually added a cameo performance of Brian Rolincik #240 giving his best peacock imitation during a round of Din Impressions. Pulling off-the-cuff humor like that into our performances, and the ability to adapt that we’ve developed, as a result of our comfort with one another on stage, is one of my favorite parts of being in the Dins. Not only does it provide the tools to manage crazy situations during performance, but it also just makes being on stage so fun for all of us..
During our last night in Paris, a few of us Dins spent the night along the Seine River, watching passerby and chatting into the early morning--a phenomenal way to bring our sixth stop to a close.
Adieu, Au Reviour, Bonsoir, or as they say in Paris, un autre Américain?!
Austin Lentsch #246