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Opening for Elton in Lucca

posted Jul 19, 2011, 7:37 AM by Jen Hayes   [ updated Jul 19, 2011, 7:56 AM ]
Our billboard!
Thursday afternoon we arrived in Lucca with plenty of time to shop and explore. We split up as some went to view the Guinigi Tower topped by living oak trees, walk the famous walls surrounding the city, or visit the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, a round piazza that used to be occupied by an ancient Roman amphitheater. We even got to hear a sound check coming from Piazza Napoleone -- Elton John is our main competition of the night!

Finally we regrouped at the Associazione Culturale San Cristoforo, a cathedral that has been transformed into a cultural center and which at the moment is hosting a fabulous sculptural display of works by Tony Cragg. They provided a fantastic Italian meal for us that we ate just outside the church under emerging stars as dusk approached. Full and contented, with excitement building for our second concert of the trip, this was the perfect time for another flash mob!

We first set up outside Chiesa San Michele in Foro and a small crowd began to form as we put up a handful of posters for our upcoming concert. Cameras and camcorders appeared as soon as our clappers hit bronze -- we'd piqued the crowd's curiosity. It seemed we finished as soon as we started, but Campanae Mundi wasn't done yet! Random-ringing our bells, we continued walking through the streets to another corner where we started up our peal and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Eventually we ended up back in front of Chiesa San Cristoforo for a final round. Our last notes faded into the evening air and William announced our concert, encouraging the crowds to come inside and join us.

When we finished our concert, we invited the eager audience up to the tables to chat and learn more about handbells. Two of the crowd even told us that, unable to get in to the Elton John concert, they just had to see what this bell ringing was all about. Now there’s a story to take home - and Elton, if you’re ever looking for an opening act, Campanae Mundi is there!