Monday, May 12, 2014

Incantato Highlight: Private Vatican Visit & Sistine Chapel Recital on Tuesday, July 8

What better place for the final performance of the 2014 Belcanto Performance Tour than the Sistine Chapel? On Tuesday, July 8, the 100+ voices under the direction of Mr. Bruce Koliha will be heard in this amazing venue during an exclusive private recital. 

Perhaps you have visited the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel once before and, like everyone else, had to endure the countless tour groups, the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, the guards barking “no pictures”, the fight for seats, and the shove to move on to make room for the masses behind you. Afterward, perhaps you were left feeling more like you had just completed a sprint past 500 years of art and history rather than having actually seen anything. There is, however, a way to experience the place where popes are elected with all the intimacy and spirituality that one could hope for in order to truly appreciate its significance: a private after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums, culminating in a special recital in the Sistine Chapel. 

The Vatican Museums are indisputably one of the finest collections of art in the world. As seen today, the Musei Vaticani consist of 13 pontifical museums and galleries that began under the patronage of the popes Clement XIV (1796-1774) and Pius VI (1775-1799). They were among the first to open collections of art to the general public for viewing and thus promoting culture among the masses. As time passed, more popes added to the already impressive collection of various art and artifacts on display in the Vatican. The museums include some of the most important sculptures from the ancient world, such as the Laocoon and the Apollo Belvedere. Moreover, papal patrons commissioned renowned works of art such as the stunning frescoes of Michelanglo in the Sistine Chapel and those by Raphael in his stance.

The Sistine Chapel, which takes its name from its founder, Pope Sixtus IV, is the main chapel in the Vatican Palace and has been covered with frescoes by some of the finest artists of the 15th and 16th centuries. There are 12 paintings on the side walls depicting episodes from the life of Christ and Moses by artists such as Perugino, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Signorelli. Completed between 1534 and 1541, the treasure of the Vatican Museums is the works by Michelangelo, including the fresco The Last Judgment, on the altar wall. His magnificent ceiling masterpiece depicts scenes from the Old Testament and is one of the world’s most famous works of art, attracting up to 20,000 visitors a day.

In order to fully be able to enjoy this truly magical and memorable place, you have the opportunity to take advantage of Incantato Concert Tours’ unique connections which make it possible for us to organize a special private visit, offering you the opportunity to see these works as they were originally viewed and contemplated by the Popes themselves. This after-hours visit is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It means that you will have the chance to admire this historical collection only in the company of your own group and not with the never-ending crowds that normally are part of the public viewing process. This private visit will be led by a specialized docent/expert guide and offers an exceptional opportunity for an intimate visit and lecture on the Vatican and its impressive collection. As a highlight of this private experience, your choir will be allowed to perform in the Sistine Chapel. It is only during these private visits that singers are granted permission to give a 25 minute sacred recital – a truly unforgettable experience both for the performers and the exclusive audience of fellow group members. 


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