On Thursday 9th March, the S. Anselm’s Chapel Choir accompanied by Mr Phillips, Mrs Seddon, Mrs Elvin and Mrs Percival departed for a tour to Prague in the Czech Republic.
After being met by our wonderful hosts, British Military Attaché Captain Mike and his wife Sue Longstaff, we settled into a wonderful period hostel. A relaxing Italian meal at the restaurant Arioso ensued after which the choir retired to bed.
On Friday morning the choir were treated to a vintage open air car journey around Prague and then headed to the Thun Palace, home of the British Embassy for a rehearsal, before performing in a wonderful concert attended by none other than the British Ambassador herself plus 40 parents, friends and siblings.
That evening, the smartly dressed choir walked through the atmospheric evening Prague streets to watch both Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta at the beautiful Prague National Theatre.
On Saturday morning the Chapel Choir surfaced after a much needed slumber, woken by Mrs Seddon and Mrs Elvin, and then walked in glorious Czech sun to the famous Prague castle which is home to the Prague Prime Minister. After thoroughly exploring St Vitus, St George's Basilica and other extraordinary medieval buildings, a crossbow competition commenced won by Arabella G scoring the highest in a single shot. A quick hot chocolate refuelled everyone and then off we went for lunch in the monastery specialising in traditional Goulash with dumplings.
That afternoon, the Choir made their way into the Loreto Cathedral in order to rehearse for their 3pm Concert. The Archbishop of Prague himself had kindly granted permission for the S. Anselm's Chapel Choir to perform in this marvellously lavish cathedral with its Baroque organ, a rare privilege indeed made possible by only by Sue and Captain Mike Longstaff vouching for the integrity and quality of the choir. After acoustics, vision and organ antiphonal proportions were accounted for, the concert began.
Acoustics which can only be described as remarkable aided the mellifluous singing of the Chapel Choir capturing the essence of Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus and Caccini's Ave Maria. Sam C-C sang a beautiful Watt’s Cradle Song and tears were shed by the large audience, a proud moment for the Choir and Musical Director, Mark Percival.
To round off this wonderful day, parents and choir joined together at the Marina Restaurant boasting inspiring evening vistas of Prague and we all enjoyed a scintillating three course meal. The fun did not stop there as on Sunday morning a short stroll took us to the Cafe Choco where parents again enjoyed a Capella singing whilst sipping a divine hot chocolate.
Taxis took luggage and children to the airport via the Prague Zoo and a tired flight home landed us all safely at Manchester.
The Chapel Choir Prague 2017 simply would not have been possible without the huge time and dedication delivered by Mike and Sue Longstaff who undoubtedly have left a significant and unforgettable amazing memory for all who attended the tour. Our sincere thanks to you both.