by BIV member Lucia Giannetta
This business of show is one of feast or famine. After a recent conversation with my agent I was officially declared in a state of emergency. 2015 had been gratefully abundant in so many ways, but professionally I was feeling a bit abandoned. Thank God for Michael McElroy and Broadway Inspirational Voices. I was beside myself when we received word that BIV would be singing at the Pre-Show for the Papal Mass at Madison Square Garden. Any opportunity to sing with BIV is always a blessing, and to come together as a group to share in the celebration of Pope Francis’ visit to New York was one for the books. Soon after we got word of the Papal Mass we were informed that BIV would also be performing with Vanessa Williams at the 2016 Miss America Pageant. But that wasn’t it! Days later I got a text from Broadway. No, seriously! I got a text asking if I was available to come and join the Broadway cast of Les Miserables for a few weeks. Please keep in mind that all of this would take place between the 13th & the 30th of September. God is so good!
It was all so extremely exciting. We were off to Atlantic City for Miss America and during our down-time fellow Altos helped quiz me on my new Les Miz track.
The bus ride back was full of singing as we prepared for the following week's rehearsal for the Papal Mass.
After a 3 ½ hour Les Miz rehearsal I had my first show to a sold-out house on Friday, September 18th, and began my 5-show weekend at the Imperial!
The following Tuesday we had our Sitzprobe and then on Thursday we had our Dress Rehearsal at Madison Square Garden. MSG was just beautiful! It had been transformed with white carpeting, a white Steinway concert grand piano onstage, and a magnificent crucifix that hung from above. This was our first rehearsal with Gloria Estefan and Harry Connick, Jr., who were so gracious and sounded amazing!
On Friday the energy around the city was electric. People had already begun lining up around MSG when we arrived at noon. Secret Service, National Guards, State Police, NYPD as well as the Canine Units were everywhere. Walking into MSG you couldn't help but feel that you were going to be a part of history.
We opened our portion of the event with one of my favorite songs, “Total Praise”, followed by “Mas Allá" with Gloria Estefan and then “How Great Thou Art” with Harry Connick, Jr. After the concert, we had to be sure to get out of MSG before the Secret Service locked down the building at 5:30pm, so there was a mad rush as we finished around 5:15pm. We couldn’t get locked in, some of us had to shows to make. I was grateful I was one of them!
It was a very inspirational day. Just listening to people speak, regardless of their faith or denomination, with such respect and admiration for Pope Francis and his message of hope, forgiveness and love was so beautiful. Our performance was everything I'd hoped it would be. I was able to sing songs of Praise with my BIV family and to share in the joy of welcoming Pope Francis to our beautiful city.
For more info on Lucia, visit her website: http://luciagiannetta.com