Film Diary 4
15/12/2007 - Shoot in Peekskill, NY: Mozartchor
We are driving through the Hudson Valley, there are pretty wooden houses everywhere, most of them sporting American flags, and there is a gentle sprinkling of snow about. We pass a grey stone church perching on a hillock dotted with tombstones. Youd never suspect that New York City is only an hours drive from here.
Our berth for the night is the town of Fishkill, nothing to do with killing fish or indeed other critters, but a Dutch word for creek. So they say. The fishy part (of the name) might actually refer to fish, but there again, it might be a very ancient Dutch word meaning sacred. We are staying in a hotel near the highway; the hotel possesses a pool (a boon!) and an excellent choice of breakfast items (another boon).
When we arrive at the tour bus in the afternoon to be taken to the theatre in Peekskill - tonights venue - , we find it occupied by Curt Faudons film crew. The film guys sit down to serious games of cards with us; they blend in, and if it were not for our sailor suits, you might not be able to tell them apart from the Choir. Mind you - Curt Faudon and Herwig Rogler, who does the sound, have beards, which might give their game away. But Nik Summerer, the head camera man, well - he blends.
We drive up to the theatre, which is lit up like a Broadway playhouse, with bulbs flashing around the words Vienna Boys Choir. We stumble out of the bus, and meander around a few snow heaps, single file. A lady espies us from across the road and shouts, welcoming us, We are going to see you later at the concert, and we know youre going to be great! What an excellent welcome; we'll have to live up to that!
The theatre, which is Art Deco old and quite pretty with creaking boards, is undergoing renovations. So they have put our makeshift changing area in an annex. We warm up on the stage, get used to the room; this is about the only opportunity you get to really look at the hall youre in. So you let your eyes travel and wonder what the audience will be like.
About forty minutes before the show they start letting people in. As we wander back into our changing annex, we see that there is a long queue patiently waiting to enter the building, men, women, and children. They are all here to see us - quite cool.
We change into the white uniforms and then we settle down to our pre-concert routine. Dr. Jesser reads from a story book until the house manager calls five minutes. That is the sign for us to line up in concert formation, and then walk on.
We are introduced by a local radio host, we can hear him from backstage. The concert itself is quite good, the audience superb: They are very receptive and go along with the music; they clap and they cheer. It is our last concert before Carnegie Hall tomorrow, and the last but one on the tour. We hope weve improved, and we hope we still sound fresh.
New York City, here we come!