Il viaggio italiano va bene!
Cappella Romana gives concerts in Rome and
Piana degli Albanese,Mezzojuso (Sicily)

The full ensemble at the Piazza Basilica
Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, shortly after
the recital at the Pontifical Oriental Institute,
which is situated just off the piazza

On the border between East and West, between the Greeks and Latins, lies the island of Sicily, where Cappella Romana recently completed an Italian tour with concerts in two Greco-Albanian villages above Palermo in the international festival "Paradhosis: Byzantine Musical Traditions," May 2-8, 2006.

The seven-member men's ensemble gave concerts to capacity audiences at the Cathedral of San Demetrio (founded 1488) in Piana degli Albanese and at San Nicol? Church in Mezzojuso, both hilltowns high above Palermo in the Sicilian countryside. Alexander Lingas also gave a paper on the history and practice of Greek Orthodox music in North America during a one-day symposium included in the festival.

The Pontificio Istituto Orientale (Pontifical Oriental Institute) in Rome hosted a recital by the ensemble prior to the Sicilian portion of the tour. After a presentation of a new book on the monastery of Grottaferrata (where the ensemble lodged in the guesthouse), Cappella Romana gave a recital of medieval music from the monastery, the program "Byzantium in Rome" first presented in Portland and Seattle in January 2005.

Detail of Ioannis Arvanitis,
Paul Sadilek, Mark Powell
in concert at the Cathedral
of San Demetrio, Piana
degli Albanese, Sicily.

For this tour, Cappella Romana was comprised of Ioannis Arvanitis, John M. Boyer, John S. Boyer, David Krueger, Mark Powell, and Paul Sadilek, led by Alexander Lingas.

The ensemble also had the opportunity to witness the hierarchical divine liturgy sung by the extraordinary Albanian choir at San Demetrio, who sang in Greek and Albanian. At the close of the liturgy, Cappella Romana was invited to sing the hymn for St. Demetrios, "Megan eurato."*

Tour itinerary:

Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Thu 4 May

Piana degli Albanese (Cathedral of St. Demetrios), Sat 6 May

Mezzojuso (St. Nicholas Church), Sun 7 May

*The whole world has found you as a mighty champion in dangers, O victor, who rout the nations. Therefore as you destroyed the pride of Lyaios in the stadium by giving Nestor courage, holy great Martyr Demetrios, implore Christ God to grant us his great mercy. (Translation by the Rev. Archimandrite Ephrem Lash).

(Posting date 14 May 2006)

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