After leaving Houghton, MI (Copper Country Festa Italiana) on August 10th, we dropped Grandma off at her house and continued onto Chicago, arriving on Monday, August 11th. The moment we stepped out of our car we were smothered in hugs and kissed from Mrs. Archbold and the boys asking us if we wanted to play.
After a wonderful Russian dinner, Borscht (beet soup), etc. the adults stayed at the table, talking music, and my sister, Sheridan, Fulton, Edgeorge (Sheridan's brothers), and myself adjourned to the living room to play chess and "Four In A Row". While my sister was playing against Fulton I sat on the balcony above them and acted as a "backseat driver" to my sister's dismay. That chess match lasted over two hours.
The year prior we had foot-races galore, in which I won all races but one, this year the playing field was a bit more even as all three boys were very practiced at both games. Needless to say I won 50% of the board games we played. My sister's average was a little higher. After Sheridan and I practiced "The Prayer" for the following day's concert we hit the sack.
Upon entering the bedroom I asked my sister to braid my hair for the following days concerts, to make it curly, but not as unruly as my hair tends to be. Let's just say it took a while and the boys constantly peeking into the room only made it take longer. :)
The drive to the Botanic Garden took two hours, ala Chicago traffic, and during the last 30 minutes of the ride all you could hear was the two of us warming up in the back of the van. Let me tell you, two classical singers, warming up in an enclosed and very small space can wreck havoc on the ears.
Our duet, "The Prayer" came across very nicely, and the audience enjoyed that piece, recalling Josh Groban and Celine Dion's duet and Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion's duet of the same piece.
The crowd stayed after the concert for quite some time, taking pictures with us, etc. Young Soprano, Agne G., also attended the concert with her Mother, staying afterwards to talk about music, dresses, etc. She is currently preparing for her first full concert, to be held in November ~ "When Music Give You Wings" that is connected with her soon to be released CD which she will share more information about soon.
We returned to the Archbold's house, ate dinner, played more boardgames, and my sister joined the boys for a soccer match. Thank you to the Chicago Botanic Garden for allowing us to perform there and a Thank You to Sheridan and his family for inviting me to perform there and for inviting us into your home.