On Wednesday morning, Bowe prepared a gourmet breakfast for everyone! Eggs Benedict in home-made hollandaise sauce on english muffins with other delicious stuff to eat as well! What a way to start our day in Paris!
After breakfast, Karol and Michał prepared a printed program for the Madeleine. A few of us also went to grab a café crême at our favorite local Parisian café. It was refreshing to be able to get a decent coffee for € 1.00 or € 1.50 and just enjoy the morning over a conversation. We also visited our favorite local printer and agreed on a pickup time for the 100 simple, black and white, two-sided, half-page programs printed on a semi-glossy card-stock.
After we got home from the chores, we held a full-group rehearsal of the 1-hour program at the apartment. We finished just in time to change and get to the Madeleine at a leisurely pace. Karol, Michał, and Naomi, went early to make a stop at the print shop to pick up the programs and say thank you and goodbye to the print master, but within half an hour everyone met up at the Madeleine.
The Madeleine was beautiful and spacious. After talking with the staff of the church, they sent for the sacristan, who led us to a room behind the altar, where we were able to put down our belongings and get organized. We were then greeted by another person (presumably a nun) who greeted us and briefly went over the logistics with Michał, whom she asked to introduce the choir in French as well.
We were able to have a short sound check in the space and were all amazed by the outer-worldly acoustics we experienced. Shortly after, we lined up for our concert and gave it a go! You can find some recordings below – hope you enjoy!
After the concert, Michał and Karol met up with their friend Fréderic. Michał met Fréd when studying abroad in Paris in 2006 and 2007, and they sung together at the Sorbonne with OCUP (Orchestres et Choeurs d'Universités de Paris) – the French university choirs.
In the meantime, Bowe led Lena, Naomi, Keane, Scott and Marcus through Paris. They unfortunately missed the entrance time to the Sainte Chapelle, but ended up having a fabulous after-concert meal at a restaurant off the street.
As you can imagine, bottles of wine were immediately ordered and Naomi also spotted escargots on the menu. To everyone’s surprise, they came out on a platter still in their shells! The waiter was friendly and entertaining and demonstrated how to hold the shell with a contraption in one hand and use a small fork with the other to pop out the specimen.
The group climbed up many steps to the Sacré-Cœur, visited the Arc de Triomphe, and went to see the lit up pyramid of Louvre at night. Eventually, everyone ended up in the same place – our large apartment overlooking the Seine river.