Thursday, 19 August 2010

The Greek chorus

When I was at University we studied Euripides “The frogs”. It was in such plays that I learned about the “Greek chorus” and its role in such plays. I never imagined for one second, that 35 years later I would actually meet one.

One of our French born female choristers is married to a Greek. They moved to France about 2 years ago. This year we had a brief visit from her former choir, which is based on Kalamaria. Their blog site is at

Yes it’s all Greek to me too, but there is a translate this page button on most web browsers these days, so you can press that if you feel so inclined.
In spite of the dire financial state of the Greek economy, the visit went ahead. They spent a few days in Barcelona before coaching it up to the Ariege.

the arrivals

When told that the Greeks would be staying in a hotel, the choir was up in arms. They wanted the Greeks to stay in their homes with them. Hmm language, logistics........

We had a small "welcome" reception for them, followed by a meal.

Speech in Freek

what are we going to do now?
let's invent Greek dancing
It became obvious that almost no Greek speaks French and vice versa. However a number of them could speak excellent English, being English teachers, so I was kept busy doing translations.

one Greek and his guitar
dancing the night away
Despite their tiring coach journey, the Greeks found the energy to dance around in the courtyard until late at night,  not to forget the singing, before getting back on their coach to go to their hotel in a neighbouring town.
Yes Greek dancing is the sport that you can do between meals.

The next evening my choir and theirs were putting on a joint concert at Mirepoix Cathedral. I did not go as I did not know the songs that we were to sing and I had no intention of trying to mime along to the words/tune.
The performance was to be followed by a buffet meal laid on by the choir members. The following day the 38 strong Greek chorus returned to Barcelona and from there, flew back to Greece.
Rumour has it that we have been invited to go to Greece next year....... If this trip goes ahead, despite being subsidised, it will still be too expensive for me. So there’s my excuse. I think of everything.. (plus I'd rather go to the Edinburgh festival instead)

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