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The San Sebastian day concert

I don't know if you have heard the singer Tom Waits (if you haven't you should) but his voice is so gravelly he sounds like he smokes 50 Woodbine a day. One time, when I saw him in concert, a young woman walked up to the stage and hurled a bunch of flowers at his feet: "Thank ya babe", he growled. And he didn't sound stupid.

Tonight a man yelled "Bravo!" and he didn't sound stupid either. The word exploded from his lips; if I'd been the performer on the receiving end of the acclaim I would have been overjoyed.

We were watching an amateur choir from the teacher training college at the University of Salamanca who had battled through the snow to get to Ciudad Rodrigo. They performed songs from a dozen or so zarzuelas. A Zarzuela is a type of music, a bit like light opera, where the spoken acting, songs and dances (often rooted in folk traditions) are used to move the story along.

We'd gone because we were off work for the town's patron saint's day and because the concert was free. I quite enjoyed it. It's unlikely I'll be downloading zarzuelas from iTunes tonight but then again I might risk a full performance sometime in the future. The theatre was comfy and warm too which was nice.

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