Voices of Birralee’s 2017 Anzac Day Commemoration Choir has arrived in France – ready to tackle just over a week of rehearsals and performances throughout Paris, Allonville, Vignacourt and Villers-Bretonneux, prior to the significant commemorative events for Anzac Day.
Of course, there will be quite a few opportunities for sightseeing! While a few of the choristers and Accompanying People (APs), got a head start on their trip, the majority of choristers flew into Paris early Friday morning, very excited to finally be in Europe.
To thwart jet-lag, the choristers made the most of Friday and Saturday, exploring the sights of the city, including sitting back on the hop-on-hop-off bus tours, with a major site, the Eiffel Tower.
Groups explored the Montmarte precinct, including the Sacré Cœur Basilica and the Montmartre Cemetery, stumbling across a number of familiar names on tombstones, including notable French composer Hector Berlioz.
Choristers also checked out the spectacular site of the Moulin Rouge.
Between more sightseeing, Saturday included a rehearsal at Saint-Jean de Montmartre to regroup after a busy few weeks.
Our choir’s first performance is on Monday night at the Ravivage de la Flame sous l’Arc de Triomphe which will be an interesting initiation for the choristers as they begin this important tour.
The Eternal Flame, which sits below the Arc de Triomphe is rekindled each night by representatives of the Veterans Associations of France. The site marks the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which honours all soldiers who have fought for France, with the idea initiated in 1916 (more info here). Being a part of this ceremony will mark our choir’s first overseas performance!
We can’t wait to share more with you as the adventure continues!