Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Finale Highlight Concert: The CSUSB & MMC choirs perform at Iglesia de Santo Tomè in Toledo on Wednesday, June 30, at 8 pm

Incantato Tours proudly presents the CSUSB & MMC choirs at Iglesia de Santo Tomè in Toledo on June 30 at 8 pm. The church dates from the 12th century, although it was completely rebuilt in the early 14th century by the Count of Orgaz. The tower is one of the best examples of the Mudéjar art characteristic of Toledo. The two upper sections are made of brick, with two groups of two and three windows with pointed horseshoe arches scalloped with other lobed arches. The interior is home to one of El Greco’s most famous paintings, the Burial of the Count of Orgaz, which is on display in a special room. For more info (in Spanish), click here.

Incantato Restaurant: Farewell dinner at Cafè del Fin in Toledo

Before you have to say "adiós" to Spain, enjoy your special Incantato farewell dinner at Cafè del Fin in Toledo on June 30 (address: c/ Taller del Moro 1, 45002 Toledo; phone: +34 925251052). The restaurant is located in the historical center of Toledo and was founded in 1969. On the menu for the CSUSB and MMC travelers:

1. Starters to share: Manchego cheese, Iberian ham, Sepia Brochetitas (fish), chicken and orange salad
2. Grilled swordfish with baked potatoes
3. Fruit pudding and apple cake
4. Water and 1 drink per person

About Manchego cheese:
Manchego is, without a doubt, the most famous cheese in Spain. It has been consumed since time immemorial throughout the region of La Mancha. This has made it possible today for an important cheese industry to develop, which maintains handcrafted production of the cheese. Manchego Cheese is an oily cheese, made exclusively from raw or pasteurized Manchega breed sheep's milk. Its shape is cylindrical. The rind, yellow or dark brown in color, displays, on the sides, the characteristic design of the esparto creases and, on the top and bottom, the so-called 'flower' or mark made by the wooden press slats. Its texture is compact, dense and oily, its color varies between white and yellowish-ivory, and its flavour is intense, peculiar and slightly salty. It has had a Denomination of Origin since 1991 and each cheese must be identified on one of its flat sides with a numbered casein plaque.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Home away from Home: Hotel Hesperia Toledo

Welcome to Toledo! During their Spain tour with Incantato Tours the singers of CSUSB and MMC are going to spend June 29th & 30th in the four-star hotel Hesperia Toledo. Located in a charming building combining the typical Toledo architecture with an avant-garde decor, this hotel contains 54 rooms. Free Wi-Fi is available in the common areas, free cable Internet access you'll find in the rooms. In addition the rooms offer air conditioning and heating, a hair dryer and a safe. Located right in front of the bull ring, close to the city centre and main points of interest, this is a great place for you to enjoy a pleasant stay in Toledo.

Welcome to Toledo - A city with extensive cultural and monumental heritage

On June 29 & 30, CSUSB & MMC will visit Toledo! Toledo is a municipality located in central Spain, 70 km south of Madrid. It is the capital of the province of Toledo. It is also the capital of autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage as one of the former capitals of the Spanish Empire and place of coexistence of Christian, Jewish and Moorish cultures. Many famous people and artists were born or lived in Toledo, including Al-Zarqali, Garcilaso de la Vega, Eleanor of Toledo, Alfonso X and El Greco. It was also the place of important historic events such as the Visigothic Councils of Toledo. The city has a population of 78,618 and an area of 89.59 square miles.
Having been populated since the Bronze Age, Toledo (Toletum in Latin) gained relevance during Roman times, being a main commercial and administrative center in the roman province of Tarraconensis. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Toledo served as the capital city of Visigothic Spain, beginning with Liuvigild (Leovigild), and was the capital of Spain until the Moors conquered Iberia in the 8th century. Under the Caliphate of Cordoba, Toledo enjoyed a golden age. This extensive period is known as La Convivencia, i.e. the co-existence of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Under Arab rule, Toledo was called Tulaytulah. After the fall of the Caliphate, Toledo was the capital city of one of the richest Taifa Muslim kingdoms of Al-Andalus, and, because of its central location in the Iberian Peninsula, Toledo took a central position in the struggles between the Muslim and Christian rulers of northern Spain. Remains of Roman circus at Toledo. On May 25, 1085 Alfonso VI of Castile took Toledo and established direct personal control over the Moorish city from which he had been exacting tribute, and ending the mediaeval Taifa's Kingdom of Toledo. This was the first concrete step taken by the combined kingdom of Leon-Castile in the Reconquista by Christian forces. After castilian conquest Toledo remained as a main cultural centre; its Arab libraries weren't savaged, and a tag-team translation centre was established, in which books in Arabic would be translated from Arabic or Hebrew to Spanish by Arab and Jewish scholars, and from Spanish to Latin by castilian scholars, thus letting the old-lost knowledge spread through Christian Europe again. For some time during the 16th century, Toledo served as the capital city of Castile, and the city flourished. However, soon enough the Spanish court was moved first to Valladolid and then to Madrid, thus letting the city's relevance dwindle until the late 20th century, when it was established as the capital city of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. Nevertheless, the economic decline of the city helped to preserve its cultural and architectural patrimony. Today, because of its rich heritage, Toledo is one of Spain's foremost cities, receiving thousands of visitors yearly. Toledo's Alcázar (Arabicized Latin word for palace-castle) became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.
Toledo's cuisine is the cuisine Castilla-rooted in its traditions and is closely linked to hunting and grazing. A good number of recipes is the result of the combination of Moorish and Christian influences. Among his specialties include the lamb roast or stew, as cuchifrito, and beans with partridge or stewed partridge, the carcamusas, the crumbs, the porridge Mancha and the tortilla to the lean. Two of the foods that have brought fame to the city of Toledo are the Manchego cheese and marzipan, which has a denomination of origin itself, the marzipan of Toledo.

The second picture is from the website

Monday, June 28, 2010

Incantato Restaurant: Vino Mio in Malaga

Restaurant Vino Mio (C/Alamos 11 - 29012 Malaga; phone: +34 952 609 093) is ranked second best restaurant in Malaga on Owner Helene has traveled the world to gain experience and studied Hotel Management for 4 years. The restaurant is famous for its Tapas, which the CSUSB San Bernardino Chamber Singers and the Mountainside Master Chorale will taste on June 28. On the menu:

1.Tapas frios: NACHOS GUACAMOLE: crusty nachos with guacamole sauce; BURRITOSERRANO: corn stuffed tortilla with cheese cream, rockets and serrano ham; PATE' PICASSO: patè tortilla chips with blueberries sauce

2. Tapas calientes: TRIANGULOS CHINOS: crunchy, stuffed vegetables and curry with sweet chili sauce; CROQUETAS DE ESPINACAS: stuffed with spinach and shrimps, served with raspberry sauce and brandy; CROQUETAS DE QUESO: stuffed cabrales cheese served with raspberry sauce and brandy; SATE' BALI: chicken breast marinated in soy sauce with rice, bread, shrimp and peanut sauce

3. Tapas postre: brownie and cheesecake

Home away from Home: Hotel Barcelo Malaga

Incantato Tours proudly presents the tour hotel for Malaga on June 28th - the Barcelo Malaga. The four-star hotel (221 rooms) has direct access to the new high-speed railway station and is just 10 minutes away from the historical city centre and the beaches along the seafront. The "El andén" restaurant recently won an award for the best hotel restaurant in Malaga. The Barcelo Malaga offers wireless internet access and the rooms come with air conditioning.

Welcome to Malaga, CSUSB & MMC!

CSUSB & MMC are on their way to beautiful Málaga during their Performance Tour 2010 with Incantato Tours. Let's have a closer look at this destination:
Málaga is a city in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. It is the second most populous city of Andalusia, the sixth largest in Spain and 43rd-most populous municipality in the European Union, with a population of 566,447 in 2008. It is the 8th largest European city above the Mediterranean Sea and experiences the warmest winters of any European city with a population over 250,000, with a Mediterranean-Subtropical climate. It lies in southern Spain, on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun), about 100 km east of the Strait of Gibraltar.
Málaga, together with Rincon de la Victoria, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola and Alhaurin de la Torre create an urban area named Greater Málaga populated by 824,842 in 561.71 km².
The archaeological remains and monuments from the Phoenician, Roman, Arabian and Christian epochs convert the historic center into an "Open Museum" displaying its rich history of more than 3,000 years. Málaga is the birthplace of artist Pablo Picasso and was the port city for Spanish military leader Bernardo de Gálvez, who served as Louisiana Governor.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

News from the travelers

Incantato Tour Manager Rosalia reported, that the concerts in Sevilla have been a huge success. "Especially the church of El Salvador: a lot of people, great priests, standing ovations, just perfect", Rosalia sums up. Now the musicians prepare for their last concerts in Spain.

CSUSB & MMC are the featured guest choirs for High Mass at Iglesia Colegial Divino Salvador in Sevilla on June 27 at 8 pm

The Iglesia Colegial Divino Salvador in Sevilla is the CSUSB & MMC concert venue on June 27 at 8 pm. The Roman Catholic church is known as the Church of the Savior and located at the Plaza del Salvador. It's the largest church in the city, not counting the cathedral. It is a 17th century church in Baroque style. It has a rectangular plan with 3 naves. Its vaults are of the barrel and cross types. Inside, the dome, the main reredos and the sacramental chapel are outstanding. It also has the carvings of 'Jesús de la Pasión', the work of Martínez Montañés, and 'El Cristo del Amor' by Juan de Mena. Prior to the church there was a Roman temple, a Palaeochristian, Visigothic and Mozarab basilica, and, in the 11th century, the great mosque of Seville on this site. You can still see the Courtyard of the Ablutions and the Minaret (now a bell tower) of the great mosque. Click here to get to the website (in Spanish).

Mass participation at Catedral de Sevilla: CSUSB & MMC will sing at 11 AM on Sunday, June 27

On June 27 at 11 am there is a special highlight waiting for the travelers. Under the direction of Andrew Crane, the CSUSB San Bernardino Chamber Singers and the Mountainside Master Chorale will perform during mass at Catedral de Sevilla. This is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. Did you know that the cathedral serves as the burial site of Christopher Columbus? The cathedral was built to demonstrate Seville's wealth, as it had become a major trading center in the years after the Reconquista. The builders of the cathedral decided in July 1401 to build a new temple, as the ancient Muslim mosque was in bad shape after the 1356 earthquake. According to the oral tradition of Seville, the decision of members of the chapter was: "Let a church so beautiful and so great that those who see it built will think we were mad". Construction began in 1402 on the site of a former mosque, following the capture of Seville from the Moors; it continued until 1506. Church workers gave half their salaries to pay for architects, builders and other expenses. Five years after construction ended, in 1511, the dome collapsed and work on the cathedral re-commenced. The dome again collapsed in 1888, and work was still being performed on the dome until at least 1903. The 1888 collapse occurred due to an earthquake and resulted in the destruction of "every precious object below" the dome at that time.
The interior has the longest nave in Spain. Its central nave rises to a height of 42 metres and is lavishly decorated, with a large quantity of gold evident. In the main body of the cathedral, only the great boxlike structure of the choir stands out, filling the central portion of the nave. It is also dominated by a vast Gothic retablo of carved scenes from the life of Christ. The altarpiece was the lifetime work of a single craftsman, Pierre Dancart. The builders used some columns and elements from the mosque, and most famously the Giralda, a minaret converted into a bell tower. The Giralda is the city's most famous symbol. It was built as a minaret of the old mosque, although the bell tower and spire top, is Renaissance.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Everybody loves them" - First two CSUSB Concerts in Spain

Over a hundred people were in the audience, when CSUSB & MMC performed at Iglesia de San Ginés in Madrid on Thursday, June 24, 7.30 pm. "Everybody loved them", Incantato Tour Manager Rosalia just reported over the phone. The singers had a great time and enjoyed the performance - same tonight at Conservatorio Superior de Música Manuel Castillo in Sevilla. Now they are heading into the city center to have dinner. Bon appetit!

Friday, June 25, 8 PM: CSUSB & MMC perform at Conservatorio Superior de Música Manuel Castillo in Sevilla

Incantato Tours proudly presents your performance venue for Friday, June 25 at 8 PM: Conservatorio Superior de Música Manuel Castillo in Sevilla. To visit the Spanish website, please click here. The building dates back to the 14th century. Since 2001 it hosts the Conservatorio and the School of Dramatic Art.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CSUSB & MMC start their Spain Performance Tour with a concert at Iglesia de San Ginés in Madrid on June 24, at 7:30 PM

On Thursday, June 24, at 7:30 PM the CSUSB & MMC choirs start their Spain Performance Tour 2010 with a concert at the beautiful Iglesia de San Ginés in Madrid. The church is one of the oldest churches in that city. It is situated on the Calle Arenal. References to it appear in documents dating from the ninth century. Originally built in Mudéjar style, it was rebuilt in 1645.
The church is preceded by an atrium enclosed by railings. It has a Latin cross plan, with a nave and two aisles separated by semicircular arches and several side chapels and the altarpieces belong to the Neoclassical-Romantic school. It was, however, totally reconstructed after suffering several fires, so few remnants of the original church, such as the bell-tower, remain. In 1870, the loggia and atrium facing the Calle Arenal were added. In the Santísimo Cristo Chapel there are artworks by Alonso Cano, Luca Giordano and el Greco.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wishing you safe travels to Spain!

Dear Members of the 2010 CSUSB & MMC Tour to Spain,
We wish you safe travels to the beautiful country. Incantato Tour Manager Rosalia Royo will be welcoming everyone on Wednesday, June 23, at Madrid airport.
Enjoy your time in Europe, Your Incantato Tours Team

Weather Forecast for Madrid - Hello sun!

With the CSUSB & MMC tour to Spain just around the corner, the Incantato Tours team had a look at the weather forecast for the next few days in Madrid, the first stop on the itinerary. On Tuesday (June 22) and Wednesday (June 23) the sun is likely to shine the whole day, with temperatures around 86°F and 91°F. When you visit Madrid's highlights during a city tour on Thursday (June 24), the weather is said to be mostly sunny with some clouds, perfect for sightseeing!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Incantato Restaurant: San Marco in Sevilla

On Sunday, June 27, the CSUSB & MMC travelers will have dinner at the restaurant San Marco (address: Calle Cuna 6, 41003 Sevilla; phone: +34 954 21 24 40). On the menu: Gaspacho Andaluz, a typical Andalusian fresh soup based on tomato, pepper, cucumber and onion; Casserole of roast fish with Sabollardas potatoes; Pineapple in juice; Water. Bon appetit!