Italy is consistently one of our most popular destinations for bands and orchestras thanks to its beautiful scenery, fantastic weather and spectacular variety of performance venues.
Whether it’s relaxing by the banks of the glorious Lake Garda, soaking up the Tuscan sun, discovering the stunning city of Venice or stepping off the beaten track in the Italian Riviera, Italy has a destination to meet almost any groups’ needs!
Hallé Youth Orchestra take a moment to describe the highlights of their recent Italian tour.
We wanted memorable concert experiences with a chance to sample some culture and Rayburn Tours recommended Tuscany! We knew Tuscany to be a beautiful location with inspiring scenery and thought it would be a lovely place for our youth members to experience the intriguing Italian culture – and we weren’t disappointed!
Our favourite performance was an open air concert we gave in a square in Florence. We set up at the bottom of a steps leading up to one of the squares grand hotels. It was a warm evening and our audience of tourists was joined by many locals as they stopped by on their way home from work. The hotel behind us had a rooftop bar from which our music could be heard and appreciated and several hotel guests even came downstairs to see the orchestra play. The hotel manager even asked if we could make it a regular booking! One elderly lady arrived late and was distraught she had missed the overture to Verdi’s Nabucco, and so demanded we play it again for her as an encore!
Something for which we were unprepared was the extent of curiousity of the audience – several children came up close to the orchestra, some just staring, others conducting along to the music. We ended up situating the staff members around the arch of the orchestra to ensure the players were given sufficient space to concentrate and play – we could not imagine such intense closeness happening in the UK. All in all we felt the impact of our music on the Florence audience in a way which was unique, special and memorable. Exactly what a tour is all about.
What we loved most about Italy was the audience appreciation for everything we did. In a country so steeped in culture, it was lovely to feel that we were contributing to people’s sense of well-being and enjoyment, either as locals or holiday-makers. We would definitely recommend it!
My top tip – hire larger instruments such as timps and harps locally. We did, and it was absolutely worth the extra cost.