Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wishing PGC a safe return home

The Phoenix Girls Chorus singers and chaperones bid farewell to Germany this morning and are currently en-route home. We wish everyone a safe return and a great summer!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

PGC Tour ends with a visit to Heidelberg

Heidelberg: A Jewel of Germany and the finale tour stop for Cantabile

Heidelberg, a city in the state Baden-Württemberg, is a jewel of Germany with its Baroque style charm and the historical cityscape. The charm of the narrow streets picturesque houses, and the world-famous Schloss Castle bring you back into time. This internationally and culturally diverse city is now home to about 30,000 of the United States Armed Forces who inhabit on the southern end of the city. Home to the oldest and one of the largest of Germany's academic institutions, the city has also attracted numerous artists, intellectuals and academics from all over Europe. Once in the Altstadt, the historical city center, walk along the Hauptstrasse, the main street, that leads to the Bismarckplatz, which is reputedly the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Germany and is approximately one mile in length. For the best view of the old downtown visit the castle, Heidelberg's landmark. Situated 80 meters, or 260 feet, up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside lies the regal residence in the inner courtyard. In the summer it is the site of open air musicals, operas, theater performances, and classical concerts for the Heidelberg Castle Festival.

Country: Germany
State: Baden-Württemberg
Population: 147,312 (Dec. 31, 2010)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Princesses for a day at Hohenzollern Castle - "Cantabile sings twice on Friday, June 22"

Fortified with a multitude of towers and turrets, Hohenzollern Castle sits in splendour almost 900 metres above the Swabian Alb. This is a storybook fortress from the heyday of the neo-Gothic. On a balmy summer evening in 1819, the 24-year-old Prussian Crown Prince saw the crumbling walls of his forefathers' castle and decided to have it rebuilt. The future king Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia was a clever, enterprising man with a passion for the fine arts. His heart belonged to the Middle Ages, which led him to commission leading Berlin architect Friedrich August Stüler to rebuild the castle. Stüler sought inspiration from medieval architecture in France and England, where the Gothic Revival or neo-Gothic style was very much in vogue. Building work began in 1852 and the restoration was completed in 1867. There are 140 rooms in the castle, most notably the library with its murals, the King's bedroom, a family tree hall and the Queen's Blue Salon. This has a stunning gilded coffered ceiling, an exquisite marquetry floor and portraits of Prussian queens. Prussian memorabilia displayed in the royal treasury includes the crown worn by Kaiser Wilhelm II. A painted Hohenzollern family tree adorns the walls of the castle's entrance hall. The Prussian kings, German emperors and their descendants are documented through to the present day. Nearby attractions: don't miss Ulm Münster, whose spire is the tallest in the world at just over 161 metres. Most of the building work was completed between 1377 and 1543 and it has retained its original character to this day. The town of Villingen-Schwenningen has a medieval centre, an early-Gothic minster, a late-Gothic town hall, the Franciscan Museum and a town hall to discover.

As the finale and another highlight performance of their 2012 Incantato Tours, Phoenix Girls Chorus' prime ensemble "Cantabile" will give two concerts at Hohenzollern Castle on Friday, June 22, first at 2:30 pm and then at 3:15 pm, thus supporting the local Prinzessin-Kira-von-Preussen-Stiftung.

Auf Wiedersehen Oesterreich, Hallo Deutschland!

After two special days in Salzburg, it was time to bid farewell to the host families that had welcomed the 31 "Cantabile" girls into their homes (thanks to the kind introduction by a PGC mom and the amazing organisation skills of her local contact, Herr Angerer) this morning. A special highlight of the visit with the Salzburgians had been a cultural exchange and joint concert on Wednesday afternoon at Lainerhof. The group left with a bit of a delay as a passport was reported missing, but thankfully was found again stuck between the seats on the bus. Now en-route to Germany, the group from Arizona can share stories about their host families, the cultural exchange etc. Here are some photos that Incantato Tour Manager Karolina Zadrazilova took.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

PGC sang at Salzburg Cathedral today

The Phoenix Girls Chorus' prime ensemble "Cantabile" sang at the Salzburg Cathedral also known as Salzburger Dom in the city of Salzburg, Austria as part of their Incantato Performance Tour to Germany and Austria. The 31 girls under the direction of Ms. Danya Tiller are presented a sacred choral recital on Wednesday, June 20 at 2 pm.

Located where Residenzplatz flows into Domplatz in Salzburg, Salzburg Cathedral (also known as Domkirche St. Rupert) is renowned for its harmonious Baroque architecture and 4,000-pipe organ. This site has hosted a Christian church since 774. The original was replaced with a late-Romanesque structure built in 1181-1200.The Romanesque cathedral burned down in 1598 and Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich took advantage of (some would say caused) the destruction to demolish the rest and make plans for a grand new cathedral to reaffirm Salzburg's commitment to the Catholic cause in the face of the Reformation. However, Dietrich's overthrow prevented the completion of this project. The present cathedral was commissioned by Archbishop Markus Sittikus Count Hohenems and designed by the Italian architect Santino Solari. It was consecrated in 1628 by Archbishop Paris Count Lodron. The cathedral's plaza is a complete aesthetic concept and one of Salzburg's most beautiful urban set pieces. In the center rises the Virgin's Column with a 1771 statue of the Virgin Mary. Considered by some to be the most perfect Renaissance building in the German-speaking countries, Salzburg Cathedral has a marble facade, twin west towers topped with green domes and a large green-roofed dome over the crossing. The bronze doors (1959) illustrate the themes of Faith, Hope, and Love. Near the entrance, look for the Romanesque font at which Mozart was baptized. The great composer later served as organist here from 1779 to 1781. Some of his compositions, such as the Coronation Mass, were written for the cathedral, and many were performed here for the first time.

More Phoenix Girls Chorus Tour pictures are now on Incantato Tours' Facebook page

Dear Family, Friends and Fans of the touring PGC chorus "Cantabile", we are so happy that you enjoy the blog that Incantato Tours provides for the 2012 Phoenix Girls Chorus Austria and Germany performance tour as a complimentary service since the actual travelers are busy traveling and singing and making new friends. They will share their adventures asap, but most likely upon return to the US. We are adding more pictures here as well as on the Incantato Tours Facebook page and hope you continue to follow the adventures. Auf Wiedersehen, Sandra and team

Lots to see in beautiful Salzburg for PGC: Nonnberg Abbey

The Benedictine monastery Nonnberg Abbey, located in Salzburg, Austria, is the oldest women’s religious house in the German-speaking world. Founded in 714 by Saint Rupert of Salzburg, the abbey was built with a generous endowment provided by Theodebert, Duke of Bavaria, and augmented by Emperor Henry II.
The abbey originally stood independent of the founding house but was rebuilt in the year 1000. Unfortunately, the building was largely destroyed in a fire in 1423; reconstruction spanned from 1464 to 1509. The church was enlarged with the addition of three side chapels in 1624. In the 1880s, the structure was completely refurbished in the Baroque style.
The abbey was recently selected as main motif for the Austrian Nonnberg Abbey commemorative coin minted in April of 2006. It was the first coin of the series “Great Abbeys of Austria.” It shows the Nonnberg Abbey convent with the castle of Hohensalzburg and the Kajetaner church perched atop a hill in the background.
The abbey acquired international fame through the life of Maria Augusta Kutschera, who later became Maria Augusta von Trapp, a teacher at the abbey following World War I, and whose story became the basis for the film The Sound of Music

Photo courtesy of the Nonnberg Abbey website. 

We found a video of "Cantabile" in Vienna online


More pictures from the Phoenix Girls Chorus 2012 Incantato Europe Tour