The small chapel on the very top of Cap d’Antibes hosts two or three concerts each summer. This was the first of only two this summer, and featured Magali De Coster as the soloist in a harp concert performing works by Rossini, Tournier, and Damase. The acoustics are excellent in the church, and the music was beautiful. The harpist added to the enjoyment by interjecting little bits of information about the harp between pieces of music. She said that harps normally have 79 strings, but hers has only 49 strings; because of the heat in the church, she had to continually retune it; the strings used to be made from cat intestines but are now synthetic; the harpist uses the fingernails on one hand to strum the strings and the pads of their fingers on the other hand. She also said that back in medieval times, people thought that the harp could be used to communicate with God; and to punish the people that committed certain types of misdoings, the officials would cut the wrongdoer's fingernails down to nubs so they couldn’t strum the strings, and, therefore, could no longer communicate with God. I’m sure there were lots of other tidbits that we missed because, of course, everything was in French. Fortunately, these are the things Monique remembered and interpreted for us.
Dave and I went to the concert with Monique sans François, Niki sans Fred, and Katarina, Niki’s 12-year old daughter. François is boating and fishing on the Atlantic coast of France in Bretagne, while Fred is off the coast of Spain on a yacht right next to Majorca. Niki surprised us all by bringing a bottle of champagne accompanied by hors d’oeuvres, of course; and the four of us sat in front of the church and toasted the beautiful evening before the concert began, while Katarina sipped her Orangina.
Another thing we always comment on regarding this chapel, is the fact that right next door is a bar with alfresco seating. At past concerts, we’ve been able to have a drink before, after, and/or during the intermission of the performance. We can’t think of any churches in San Francisco or the Bay Area that have bars on their premises.