The Fez Sacred Music Festival: and a tale of Rocio Marquez

I'm in Fez -- that Moroccan imperial city more than a thousand years old. I'm here at the Sacred Music Festival.  The Festival's theme this year is Re-enchanting the World

 I'm waiting under a tree so large that a spreads like a lacy canopy overhead.

Fez tree

I'm waiting for a girl in a violet ruffled dress. Waiting with hundreds of others.  

Suddenly, she's there, Rocio Marquez.  

She's accompanied by Christian Boissel,  a French pianist with red shoe laces. Together they are interpreting the poems of the Divan del Tamarit, by Spanish poet Frederico Garcia Lorca.

The pianist's eyes fill with tears, as he perfectly recites Garcia Lorca's poems in French for the audience.

Christian Boissel
But all eyes are on her.  On her, Rocio Marquez.   Her poise so striking, and her face magically lit.  

Rocio 2
She sings, and it's all there.  Love, death, heartbreak, jealousy, faith.  Grenada and Cordoba evoked like a heartbeat, like a pulse.  

Rocio Marquez 2
Her voice holds a note, so fine, so far, so controlled that I can only wait... wait for her to breathe again.  And when she does, it is filled with a sort of grace. 

Fez 502
I am re-enchanted.  And I'm not alone.  The 70 year old man nearby murmurs his appreciation.  She's a delicacy, he says.  Praise God, praise God, he says, over and over.  

And then it is over.  

She stands.

Fez Rocio Marquez dress
Perhaps the world's most beautiful girl in a violet dress.  

In Fez, a city a thousand and more years old.

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