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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Success in Stuttgart!

So, I have been notoriously bad at keeping abreast of the wave of things that have been happening here lately, however, I am making it up to you all right now by filling you in!

This post will be dedicated to my positive experience in Stuttgart at an audition for their Bundesagentur fuer Kuenstlervermittlung (which covers the German States of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Saarland and Rheinland-Pfalz, and that's it--I think!) and which is basically a different branch of the same government agency that I visited in Cologne in June, but only covers the regions listed above in the parentheses.

This particular experience was much MUCH easier and enjoyable than the one in Cologne from the very beginning. It was a four-hour drive to Stuttgart (closer to 4.5 more likely) and it was a gorgeous day! The sun was shining, it was hot and the sky was blue- so far, so good. Then, miraculously, we did not encounter a single traffic jam on the way there (which is a miracle considering that summer is the time construction on the Autobahn happens most often--and we only took the Autobahn--#'s 45 and 5--so that was another narrowly avoided pitfall. Finally, upon arrival in the outskirts of Stuttgart, it was as if we were driving into Beverly Hills. The countryside was absolutely breathtaking- the bright green wine trellises crisscrossing the rolling hills and the deep valley of the city center surrounded by beautiful mansions and picturesquely winding roads- it was just...perfect. Honestly, after seeing that as the first glimpse of my experience with Stuttgart, I was prepared to have a wonderful day and a wonderful audition.

Well, that was not the end of our luck. We found a parking spot practically right in front of the building where I was auditioning, and we were 10 minutes early (after taking only one wrong turn in the city of Stuttgart---not too shabby considering their roads are TOTALLY confusing for first-timers). Then I go in, change in the bathroom (what, you thought I'd wear my dress the entire ride?! No way!) and go upstairs to find the 'warm-up' room---always a possible disappointment, or maybe even completely non-existent! (Ha.) The room was occupied but the girl just HAPPENED to be leaving right as I was coming (yay!) so I went in, played around on the piano a bit and mentally centered myself for singing (or, rather, tried to channel the beauty and liveliness of the city into the singing I was about to do). The room was wonderful- it was so easy to sing there- the acoustic was ideal, the piano was absolutely in tune and there was even a large floor-to-ceiling window for me to look out onto the scenic city center as I sung. Couldn't get more perfect. Honestly.

Then, I remembered that this particular audition had mentioned in their email to me that there was a possibility that my audition and my experience there would be videotaped and put on television (SWR- one of the main TV stations in that part of Germany) and I wouldn't know it until I got down to the audition room whether or not they'd pick me (yikes!). I guess I had forgotten that, hadn't I? Ah well, somehow even that couldn't stop me from beaming with joy.

So, I finished warming up, went downstairs and waited. My time was at 3:30pm and the people who were downstairs outside of the room waiting to go were at 3pm (and they were already 1/2 an hour late) so I prepared for a longer wait than I had hoped. I talked to the auditionees (one gal was in her 30's and was trying for fun, there were two Korean singers- a Soprano and a Baritone, and later on a girl originally from New Jersey who now lives in Stuttgart and was actually my same age, trying to do the same thing as I currently am. Small world! And, what was funnier, was that we spoke German to one another. I guess I didn't notice until after the audition was finished but, how funny, right?

So, the two people before me were videotaped and interviewed by the TV station crew and I kept thinking "Oh gosh! What happens if they interview me? That would be a chance for me to say something interesting or at least semi-intelligent, but I think I might just get tongue-tied and look like an American idiot!" (I admit, that was probably not the most productive line of thought at the time.) Luckily, they took a break just at the time when it was my turn to go into the audition room. Phew!

I went into the room, there was only one man, and he seemed to be very eager to hear me and also in a very good mood. (That can NEVER hurt!) So, he asked what I wanted to sing first- I began with Doll Song, then he asked for the Mozart---Blonde's aria--and then he talked with me about what he liked, and what I could still work on (thank God there was nothing mentioned that I didn't already know---that was super good news!) and then he said that he'd recommend me for another audition coming up on the 26th of July for an opera studio in Luxembourg but that the audition and rehearsal process would be conducted in French, but I was comfortable with that, right? Of course I was! (Well, I did tell him that I can read French very well but speaking is another matter all together, however he assured me that that would be sufficient.) Nevertheless, I have been practicing my French non-stop since that audition. If anyone needs a good language learning website--check out

Mango Languages

Anyway, that's the good news! He said that he couldn't offer me any positions currently because it was summer break (okay, expected that) but that I should definitely come back in the Fall and bring Adele's arias from Fledermaus along for the re-audition, and that they would very likely have possibilities for me then. YAY!

So, that's that folks- great news, right? I am super excited for the audition on Monday! Cross your fingers and bitte Daumen druecken! ;)

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