Don’t Miss the Bus—an Interview with Bliss

Bliss

Lukas glanced at his watch as he hurried toward the bus stop. If the bus was just a few minutes late, he might still be able to catch it. As he rounded the corner, he saw his bus waiting at the stop, and he started to run, but it was too late. As he raced breathlessly towards the bus, it started to pull away. He waved frantically at the driver, trying to catch his attention, but the driver didn’t see him or just didn’t care.

Typical. He slowed to a walk, trying to catch his breath. And of course, there was nowhere to sit and wait. With a sigh, he resigned himself to waiting for the next one.

Little did he know that missed bus would change his life. 

Matthias, founding member and music director of the a cappella group Bliss and a friend of Lukas’ from university, was also running after a bus that day. And he couldn’t be late. When his bus left without him, he raced it to the next stop and managed to get on it anyway.

When Lukas’ bus finally came, he stepped on with a sigh of relief. Then he saw an empty seat…next to a familiar-looking face.

“Hey…Matthias?”

Matthias looked up. “Hey, Lukas, right? Didn’t we sing together in university?”

“Yeah!”

Bliss had just finished a round of auditions for a new tenor. But they weren’t really excited about anyone they had heard. Matthias remembered that Lukas was a better singer than all of them.

“Hey,” he asked, “What are you doing these days? Are you still singing? I’m in this group, and we need a new tenor…”

Lukas joined the group.

But he’s not the only one who became a member through happenstance. As Tom (baritone and group comedian) told me during our interview on Skype, “I’m not in this group at all. I’m the housekeeper for this hotel, and I just saw they were talking into the computer, so I came over here, and then they asked me to go on tour with them.”

Right.

So what is Bliss? A Bliss show is, of course, a cappella, but it’s also a musical theater show, with comedic dialogue, dramaturgy, staging, sets, props, lighting design, and even costume changes. In fact, it’s as much a visual experience as an auditory one. Viktor, the bass and newest member, says, “I always listen to a cappella, and I’ve never seen anything like it before!”

I asked each member for one word to describe Bliss. For Claudio, founding member and countertenor, Bliss is energy. For Matthias, the word is professional. Viktor sees it as an opportunity. Lukas describes the group as powerful.  And Tom’s word?

Wienerschnitzel.

So what is the true essence of Bliss—musical theater, a cappella, or wienerschnitzel? Catch them on tour and decide for yourself.

And the next time you’re running after public transportation, remember: maybe your future is on the next bus. 

 

Website: www.bliss.ch

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