Spoleto Festival USA: May 26, 2013

As you well know, Sunday means brunch.  Tenor John Hudson, soprano Allie Faulkner, friends visiting Charleston and I went to The Green Door to eat.  This restaurant has no signage other than a blackboard on the sidewalk, and I must have walked past it a half dozen times without even realizing there was an establishment there.  And yet, in spite of its diminutive exterior, the Green Door has been called ‘one of the top ten places to eat’ by the Charleston City Paper.  The restaurant itself opened last December, but the food truck from which the Asian fusion inspired menu grew  (Roti Rolls) was voted the best in Charleston for two years running. 

The menu was full of combination I had never seen, like the Shorty Benedict (short rib, 62 degree sous-vide egg, kimchi hollandaise), the PBPB&J (pork belly, peanut butter, candied bacon, sriracha syrup), and the Waffle Taco (sambol fried chicken, waffle, sriracha syrup, goat cheese).  I went with the Brunch Burger (curry pickles, American cheese, fried egg, bacon, English muffin served with tater tots dusted in cinnamon) because I cannot resist the combination of a fried egg on a burger.  I also had the Thai Peanut Mac ‘n’ Cheese – decadent and luscious.  The GD Kimchi Bloody Mary is also worth a mention, and may I recommend the candied bacon stir to further delight your taste buds. 

We went from this terrific meal to a rehearsal with Westminster Choir.  We will be singing the Verdi Requiem under the baton of Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt and in collaboration with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and the Charleston Symphony Chorus on June 6.  Next week, we will work with Dr. Flummerfelt, and today was our chance to tighten up our ensemble with Dr. Miller before he turns us loose.  Most members of the choir performed this work in the fall with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra, but for the five sophomores in Westminster Choir who are not also in Symphonic Choir, learning the work has taken personal practice. The rehearsal revealed that there was still work to be done before we are ready to present this very important concert, and sectionals were scheduled to make sure each section was solid on its part.

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Yannick speaking with the Choir backstage at Carnegie Hall before performing the Verdi Requiem in the fall.

In the evening, I went to see Le Grand C for the second time.  The first time I saw this presentation of extraordinary feats of human strength and form, I was so nervous that my hands were clammy for the entire hour and ten minutes.  The second time I was much more calm, though no less enchanted.  There is no safety net for these physical artists as they form human formations like a column of four people (standing on shoulders!), create human catapults and throw people through the air with the most gracious and lovely swan dives.  It is absolutely spectacular – Spoleto never disappoints.

In our room – Liberty Hall 624/626, we have had many late nights/early mornings where the four of us (Kyle, Johnny, Mary, and I), have converged, start talking, and end up inevitably surprised by the late hour in which we find ourselves, still awake and totally energized by our discussions.  We talk about everything from chamber music, our future careers and our significant other to gun violence, gender as a societal construct and how that is manifest in pop culture,  and religion’s role in contemporary life.  These are some of my best memories from Spoleto – four friends sharing space, time, and themselves. 

About Westminster Choir

Westminster Choir is composed of students at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, a center for music study in Princeton, N.J.
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