We arrived in the quaint city of Chernivtsi just in time for lunch at our 4-star hotel, Hotel Bukovyna. We ate a quick lunch and then choir departed for their workshop with Holos, a dinner-theatre type singing group, while the dancers headed for their workshop with the Bukovyna Song and Dance Ensemble. Both groups learned so much and had a wonderful time singing and dancing. After the workshops, we returned to the hotel and most dancers took the fastest shower ever and we headed down for dinner in the hotel. While eating dinner, we were so spoiled to have Holos perform for us. I think it's safe to say that everyone was absolutely amazed by the sound, energy and character of these singers. Once we were all fed and watered it was early to bed for most as we headed into another show day. We had some free time in the morning and some members enjoyed a city tour while others explored the city and the shops on their own. We loaded into the theatre for tech rehearsal, and soon realized that this would likely be one of our more challenging shows, just due to the size of the stage and wings. Trying to fit 50+ people on one tiny stage is quite the puzzle, however, after some clever re-arranging and re-setting, we were ready for showtime.
We were particularly excited to perform in Chernivtsi as many members of our ensemble have family and friends in this area - one dancer, Maria, had so much family attending our show that they chartered their own bus into the city! We were told after the show that it was chaos outside - many people still trying to get tickets, and one lady who couldn't afford a ticket but brought along fresh produce from her garden in the hopes of trading for a ticket. As the curtains opened to reveal our "beyond full" house (literally, they had placed extra chairs in the aisles and along the sides of the theatre) the adrenaline kicked in and Viter successfully put on another incredible show. The choir brought the entire theatre to their feet, and brought many to tears while performing Реве Та Стогне.Дніпр Широкий (The Mighty Dnipro Roars), and audience members were bringing flowers and gifts on stage throughout the entire concert.
The end of the show was charged with emotions! Many hugs, many photos, and after some time savouring that amazing high that comes from performing for a sold out theatre in Ukraine, we got word that members from Holos and the Bukovyna Song and Dance Ensemble were waiting outside for us. As we exited the doors to the theatre, we were blown away to walk through a never-ending hallway of audience members clapping and shouting "Bravo", only to see that the entire street outside was FULL of people clapping and cheering for us!! We truly felt like celebrities and were overwhelmed with emotions! We had some time for photos, and interviews and once things began to wind down we headed back into the theatre to change and pack up.
[wpvideo IFVDQiMP] We had a late dinner (and a surprise appearance by some very suave looking gentlemen) before showering up and heading to bed. Tomorrow would be a long, busy day as we travel to Vinnytsya for our second last show, which has been highly anticipated as this is the hometown of our band Darmohrai.