… or the most awful organisation of a concert.
Today I stepped on a poster and a magazine from June 2016, the time when I was in Chartres for a concert with Ensemble Eborensis where we performed in one of the city’s finest churches: Saint-Aignan. Here are some posts of this journey to the French city ( 1 2). First of all – and this will explain part of the following text – the only photo I have from this concert is a selfie we took after the warm-up (here).
To start, in December 2015 there was a possibility of Ensemble Eborensis go to Chartres representing the city of Évora as part of the twin-cities cultural exchange protocol between both cities. This was a golden oportunity and I worked very hard to have the best musical programme that represented the Évora Cathedral 17th-century polyphonic tradition and also our recently recorded CD with plainchant from the Cistercian monastery of S. Bento de Cástris, near Évora. I met with the assistant deputy mayor for tourism and patrimony since he was in Évora with a group from Chartres. He asked my very urgently to send all the data about the group. So, as always, I put together the work list with some contextual notes, the group’s biographical notes, and a professional-taken photo of the ensemble which I sent in January 2016.
We went to Chartres from June 28th to July 1st 2016. We were so well received in Chartres and people there was very welcoming and the group had a blast! But, on the other hand, with respect to the concert itself it was an authentic failure. I guess, the only great thing about it was that we had half-church full and people really enjoyed our singing.
There was no publication in Chartre’s press (even the Mayor magazine “Votre Ville”) about the group’s name (Ensemble Eborensis) – it was entitled “Les Choeurs d’Évora” (The Choirs of Évora). We were scheduled as the pre-opening of the city’s main music festival – ChartrEstivales – which takes place during the summer months with concerts everyday. The festival is enormous but so amateur in terms of its organisation and promotion – just take a look at the awful website. There were at least two video cameras filming the concert and people taking photos. We haven’t received no photos and no videos which, in my opinion, is very bad since we didn’t charge any money for the concert. In the end, people donated a few euros (I guess, about 30 for each singer…).
As a professional musicologist and amateur singer this was the first (and hopefully the last) time I had to deal with such unprofessional organisation and lack of attention towards artists. It was really frustrating. But, at least, we had a great time in Chartres; there is much interesting sites to see, besides the marvellous cathedral there is also a stained-glass museum and the churches of Saint-Aignan and Abbey of St. Pierre, besides other art galleries and so on.