Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Day of Many

Today was the concert for Beethoven's 9th Symphony with 10,000 singers.  After our morning rehearsal we had about 4 hours to wait until it was time to play the performance so we went for a walk.  I think in 50 years I will have dreams about things that happened today and wonder from where they possibly came.

the doors to the hall (stadium) entrance
man with falcon outside Osaka-Jo Hall

first Santa spotting

a stop at Mister Donut in a shopping center which was having a Peanuts special

a dog cafe
(two people sitting with dogs and a small pile of sleeping dogs in the mid-upper right)

worker in the dog cafe displaying the tempting ball of fuzz to us

We then changed trajectory and headed into the beautiful Osaka park on this perfect weather day.  And there, a Santa race.

running Japanese Santas

Christy getting ready.....

The High Five game has become a favorite game of Christy's.  It seems that "high fives" are not very popular here, so this game largely consisted of Christy running towards running Japanese Santas with a raised hand and them dodging her.  A few of them very enthusiastically got it.  

and there were wooden flute and ocarina players playing Moon of the Ruined Castle and songs from Japanese anime

more running Santas

a Santa family

man with a Santa dog

Santas waiting to get their pictures at Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle in the fall

Santas with Osaka Castle in the fall

Lots of Santas!!!

Some with high heel boots, cat ears, and tails
I took so many Santa pictures.  When would the novelty wear off?

And then we played a concert where thousands of Santas were replaced by thousands of singers.  Nakama Yukie, an (apparently) incredibly famous singer and actress in Japan glowed gracefully in a white dress and single spotlight and read something before we played the symphony.  The lights came up and we began.

We played Auld Lang Syne for the encore while they showed pictures of the choirs' rehearsal process on the jumbotron.  Every singer had a glow stick, which they ebbed back and forth in the dark.  The lights came up and I got to see 10,000 pairs of hands clapping, a wave of sound.  I just stared at the audience, the choir, everyone applauding for each other, we for them and them for us.  I wondered when the novelty would wear off.

Sado-san and lots of other people involved in the production came onstage multiple times for a bow.  At one point the heel of Sado-san's shoe came off and I picked it up as I exited the stage.  Finally, I'd found him, my Cinderella!  (Actually I just returned it to the security outside his dressing room.)

And then there was a party!

Ani starting off the line

Christy got three of the bassoonists (top three), a bass player (bottom left),
one of the office staff, Yamauchi-san (bottom middle),
and our stage manager, Frank (bottom right) to make a pyramid
One day I will dream of falcons, dog cafes and donuts, thousands of Santas, thousands of glows sticks, thousands of pairs of hands clapping.  Lost shoes in Japan, people pyramids in party rooms, and the sound of a thousand voices.  It is still a novelty for me.  I've yet to be filled completely.

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