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Showing posts from October, 2010

Leipzig: A Two-Fold Journey to Discovery

(This post was written on October 13th, 2010) I am on the train this morning heading to Leipzig. Thus far I've woken up at 7:30am after getting to sleep around midnight (packing and getting organized takes a lot longer than one might think) and I'm on the train somehow fully awake now (even after less sleep than I would normally prefer). Thankfully the train is only an “IC” (Intercity) and not an “ICE” (Intercity Express) though this train goes no less fast. The problem it seems normally with ICE's is that there are a TON of passengers on it who are noisy and loud (people on vacation or school kids on class trips) and therefore they're not the most restful traveling experience for multiple-hour trips. However, this “IC”, the first one I've been on actually, seems to be very sparsely populated, and filled with business travelers (thank God!) of the very quiet sort. So, I might actually get some rest on the 5 hour trip after all.
Regarding today's game plan…

Saarbruecken!

(Note: This post was supposed to appear on the 27th of July, so please do excuse my tardiness in posting it now, I just have been swamped lately with getting things up on the blog.)


I had an audition on Monday of this week, the 26th, in Saarbruecken, which is located approximately 4 hours southwest of Dortmund by car and is the capital of the state of Saarland. The audition was for an Opera studio in the region of Saarland and Luxembourg (the country--Saarbruecken is right near the border of Germany and Luxembourg) and in particular for the opera by Jacques Offenbach called 'Ba-Ta-Clan'.

I actually received the invitation to this audition from my successful audition in Stuttgart with the ZAV (office for unemployed opera singers, basically) and he then recommended me to the conductor who was looking for singers for this program. The caveat of my being able to audition was being able to speak French in the audition (as the productions would be taking place in both French and …

What do Opera Singers DO all day long?

That question has been asked of me by many a person, and many a non-opera singer (of course). I'd like to use this post to debunk any and all myths associated with being an Opera singer and rid the minds of the masses of the perception that this career is easy, or that there is enough to do to maintain it in only 3-4 hours per day. 
If you have Opera singer friends, or family members, then you already know that Opera singing is really a very time-consuming and demanding profession. Just ask my boyfriend- I've got plenty of work; he nearly has to pry me off the computer at night just to get me to sleep. So, what is it that takes up all of this time, you might ask? Well, let's hack away at this answer categorically, shall we?
First, there is the necessary musical preparation that takes at least 3-4 hours per day (and I am talking here just about sitting at the piano and going through your music note-by-note). Normally for me, I practice singing full-voice for approxi…

On The Death of Dame Joan Sutherland: Ode to Joan

On October 10th, a very superb singer, and I'm told just as excellent a human being, was lost to the world and the Opera community. Joan Sutherland, a Soprano, of the Dramatic Coloratura variety, died at her home in Switzerland at the age of 83.
Instead of exploring the tragedy of this death, I would like to take this time to explain to many of you who might not have known her work quite so well, why she was amazing at what she did, and why this particular loss, is quite a meaningful loss to myself.
Joan Sutherland was a legend even in her own time (and let's face it, that's an accomplishment when such luminaries as Mozart had a difficult time doing that while still alive). She was married to the famous conductor, Richard Bonynge and she grew up in Austrailia before gaining her first big success at the Royal Opera House in London and then subsequently moving to Brooklyn with her husband where she lived for quite a long time during her many numerous collaborations with t…

Further Rotterdam Photo Introspection

A good friend of mine, Dan, whose informative and interesting music journalism blog can be found at: http://postpostrock.wordpress.com/ , was very kind to provide me with information about those cool things that I took a photo of in Rotterdam that looked like bubbles sitting on the water in the harbor.  His addition is as follows:

...those odd "floating," semi-transparent structures are geodesic domes, which were patented by the visionary American architect and inventor Richard Buckminster Fuller.  Interestingly enough, one of SU's architecture profs gave the arts journalism folks a seminar all about  B. Fuller and and his designs--really futuristic stuff worth checking out.  Even more intriguing is the indirect music connection.  Fuller once taught at the short-lived Black Mountain College, an arts-centric liberal arts school considered very progressive for its time.  Other guest teachers included John Cage, Lou Harrison, and Merce Cunningham.  It was kind of …

Ford's Snazzy German Advertising Adding Spunk to Autobahn Experience!

On the back of a large tractor-trailer recently, I saw a very interesting and fun ad from Ford Motors, the owner of the tractor-trailer, presumably.
It was a picture of a red Ford Mustang with racing stripes and over the picture it said, “Klar, den haetten sie lieber vor sich”. And what is funny about that to those of you who don't speak German, is that the following things could be implied by this sentence: 1- Perhaps Ford was suggesting that if that Mustang was driving in front of you, it wouldn't be as slow as this truck is right now. 2- They might also be imagining that it would be nicer to look at then a truck. 3- Or, they could always be conjecturing that if the Mustang was in front of you on the Autobahn you'd be safer then if it was behind you (driving at high speeds and running you down since you'd be driving at the normal rate of only 120km/hr).
At any rate, great advertising on Ford's part, and thanks to them for the Autobahn Amusement!