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Sunday, October 31, 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: I've got my audition with the ZAV in Leipzig at 3:40pm, my train arrives into the Hauptbahnhof (Main train station) at 1:18pm, and luckily the ZAV is only approximately a 10 minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof, so I've got plenty of time once I get there. Normally at the ZAV (the gov't agency for unemployed opera singers and other performing artists) they have at least one “Einsingraum” (warm-up room) and bathrooms and waiting rooms, so that makes it easier too to do an audition like this in one day. I am counting on arriving on time to Leipzig, then making my way directly to the ZAV, where I will change out of my traveling clothes (a wool 3/4-length coat and underneath that a fleece—winter has officially started here in Germany!) and into my audition dress and makeup and jewelry. Then I am planning on getting to the warm-up room and doing a little vocalizing there, and then possibly eating a small bite of lunch, and filling out the audition paperwork and getting 'in line' in the waiting room. What I should possibly explain at this juncture, is that German ZAV's schedule multiple people for the same audition slot (let's say 5/6 people per half an hour) and because of that, upon arriving at any audition, you should always ask who is in your time slot (normally they'll be nice enough to tell you and not lie to you that they're in the half hour before you) and then you kind of argue amongst yourselves who will be first and last and so on. Sometimes it's easy (someone will volunteer to go last or first) and sometimes everyone wants to get the heck out of there so you practically have to draw straws to see who gets to go first. At any rate, I'm hoping that I can go first today. It will give me a chance to see Leipzig a bit, and also, I just hate waiting and listening to everyone sing before me. That part is my least favorite. Though, I have brought Janet's book (Nail Your Next Audition) along with me this time, and I am planning on re-reading the sections that I found most helpful regarding staying focused the last moments before the audition begins.

Therefore, since I am still on the train now for about two more hours, I will be writing the remainder of this blog entry once I am on the train ride back from Leipzig and can tell you about how it all went! Wish me luck ;)


Leipzig: The Conclusion

So, the story after I arrived today in Leipzig goes something like this: the train pulls into the Hauptbahnhof here in Leipzig, I get out, and ask a DeutscheBahn worker how to get to the Leipzig Opera house (since I looked at it on Google before I left this morning and it seemed to be nearby). He told me how to get there- walk straight out of the train station, down the stairs, out the front door, across the double set of streetcar tracks and then simply continue straight until you hit a 'T' at the Fussgaengerzone, and then make a left and you're there. The Bahn man was right! It took me about 10 minutes to walk to the Opera house. I figured that the walking would get my energy up after sitting on the train for all those hours, and looking at the Opera house might cull some inspiration for today's audition, since it could turn out to be a future place of employment. (Strangely enough, I'm not sure candidates for employment in other fields do things like that. I mean, does a future Apple store employee simply stand outside the store gazing up in amazement? Maybe. But, maybe not. Just an observation that the widely held belief that singers are different yet again is being proven true, while I am trying through this Blog, to make my experiences accessible to the non-singer. Ah, the irony.)

After the Opera-house-gazing, I went inside hoping to find a gift shop or at least information about a guided tour (who knows what kind of time my audition would take- perhaps it would be finished early) but they do not actually have a gift shop, I was informed, and they don't do tours except in the mornings. Drat. So that option was out. Upon further consideration (a.k.a.- looking at my cell phone clock) I realized that I should be getting to the audition (I had an hour til my time slot- 3:40pm) since I wasn't sure how far that was from the Hauptbahnhof. I traced my steps back to the Hauptbahnhof, asked several people which train stopped near Rosa LuxemburgerstrasseStrassenbahn and took it two stops to the exact place I needed to be. (Gott sei Dank!) I hopped out with my multitude of bags (a canvas carry bag with remnants of breakfast and lunch inside, which is serving this evening on the ride back here as my dinner, a book bag with my laptop inside and various sheet music copies for the pianist as well as copies of my resume, and my purse) and looked across the street- fortuitously I was standing directly across from the ZAV offices! I went inside and up to the 4th floor where the office was located and asked the secretary if she could direct me to the auditions and where I was able to change into my audition clothing and warm up my voice. She first asked me to fill out the personal information sheets that are normal at all ZAV auditions (they ask for your address here in Germany, your cell phone number, your birth place and date, your nationality, your foreign language competency, your past engagements and your repertoire that you are offering at today's audition) and then directed me to a small office that she told me was the warm-up room. (Yikes.) Normally there is a piano in a large-ish room that they use as a warm-up room at all the ZAV's that I've been to thus far. Not so with this particular location. At any rate, I made the best of it and just did some tongue trill scales and surprisingly the acoustics in that tiny office weren't all that terrible. After about 10 minutes of warming-up, the Secretary knocks on the door and asks me if I'm finished because the next candidate is here and needs to warm up now. So, I told her I was finished and then she directed me to a long hallway lit on one side by the sunlight streaming in through floor-to-ceiling windows (it must be awfully cold then in winter!) and told me that at the end of the hallway to my right was the women's bathroom and at the end straight ahead was the audition room. I dashed into the bathroom and changed into my audition dress and put on my makeup and jewelry. As I was finishing up my makeup and hair I heard the girl who had finished warming-up after me put her things down in the hall. I popped my head out of the bathroom and asked her if she wouldn't mind going ahead of me because I wasn't quite finished with my makeup yet (after all, it was only approximately 3:15pm and I was scheduled for 3:40 originally) and she actually said that her original audition time was 3pm, so that was fair anyway, luckily. Then as she was finishing her first song (I could hear clearly through the audition room door straight into the waiting hallway and in the bathroom too possibly through the wall that bordered the two rooms) I finished my routine in the bathroom and came out into the hallway to gather up my materials (Lebenslauf, Photo, Repertoire List, and notebook of music for the accompanist) and then waited about two minutes and she emerged and said I could enter.

I went into the room and handed the judges (there were two women and one man on the panel) my informational sheet and my other materials, and the notebook to the pianist. Funny enough, the pianist and I were both wearing the same color blue (and the judges even remarked on it that we must have planned it to match- LOL). So far, so good- no 'boese' judges. :) Then I said I'd like to begin with 'Mein Herr Marquis' from Strauss's Die Fledermaus (which was another coincidence because the girl who had just sung before me sang one of Price Orlofsky's arias from the same opera) and I realized for the first time just how dry the acoustics in that room were. It was really difficult for me to monitor what was coming across overtone-wise while performing, so I simply did my best to outweigh any possible vocal-overtone-loss from the acoustics through amping-up my acting a notch. It must have done the trick. They seemed less perturbed than when I first met them (and that's an improvement) and they asked if I had Pamina's aria from Die Zauberfloete with me. I replied (probably with a confused look on my face) that I did not have that with me nor did I sing that aria normally, and they then deliberated in whispers amongst themselves for a short while and settled on asking for 'The Doll Song' next, from Offenbach's Les Contes D'Hoffmann. I offered to begin with the second verse, and they agreed that that was a good idea since it's such a long song. I did the same thing with this second piece as I did with the piece before; I simply acted the heck out of it and sang it as best as I could tell from the sensations that I was getting physically (since I couldn't really hear a darn thing reverberation-wise). Then came the decision-making part, of course. (The part that I usually dread since you never know what you're going to get- it's like....totally maddening.) They asked me to sit down in the dreaded chair that they place before their table and the man on the panel began. He said (auf Deutsch, natuerlich) that he was also on the panel at my audition in Berlin two weeks prior, and that then he absolutely did not like my singing whatsoever. He explained then that I had begun with the Queen of the Night's Vengeance aria and it sounded way too 'old' for me to be singing it, and that then I sang Adele's aria from Fledermaus (the one which I had begun with today) and it was okay, but certainly not something he liked. However, he said, he liked very much what I did today because I began, as he put it, “Very charmingly and with a lot of emotion and portrayed the character effectively, as well as sang with a more clear tone and more precision.” He then went on to say that as much as he liked the Adele today (which was already more than he liked it in Berlin), he liked the Olympia (the Doll Song) even more, and he could see through my portrayals today and my singing that I had improved and that I had a 'stage personality' (in other words, that I could act) and that he would like to offer me a chorus audition for a smaller opera house (somewhere where, as he put it, there would be a possibility that I would be offered after a while of chorus singing, the ability to sing small roles in the repertory ensemble of solo singers at the house).

I tried not to make my disappointment obvious, and told them all that I was very pleased that they enjoyed my audition so much and that I had made a good impression on them, and of course a better one than I had made in Berlin, and that I was looking forward to their email regarding the chorus position.

So, that's the outcome thus far. I will let everyone know what happens with it, and I am excited to report that at least through that, I have finally figured out the German Opera system a little better. It's all about the acting, people! Because, let me tell you, I did not sing differently than I did when I sang in Berlin. It was simply two different songs! I mean, who can compare Olympia and Queen of the Night? It just doesn't work. But....ah well. At least now I've got the system down, right? (Wink, Wink.)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

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 German speaking areas, and they would be conducting the rehearsals in French as well). So, I began practicing French like crazy with an online language program (offered through my public library in PA, actually!) called Mango.  Thankfully, the practice paid off.

The day of the audition the drive to Saarbruecken (located in the small-ish state in Germany of Saarland, very close to the borders of both Luxembourg and France) lasted about 4 hours, but I was luckily the passenger, as my boyfriend was nice enough to drive me there and back (since he knew that I hadn't yet mastered a manual car, as well as the fact that I needed to concentrate mentally on the music I was about to sing).  At any rate, we got to the audition relatively early with about 35 minutes before my scheduled audition time for me to change into my dress and fix my hair (the makeup was applied in the car, as I wasn't sure we would have enough time there once finding a parking spot and everything for me to do it without rushing).

Upon entering the audition site (the Musikhochschule there in Saarbruecken) I headed for the bathroom, put on my dress, and finished my hair- I was ready!  I wandered over to the benches positioned outside of the audition room and hoped to find someone who I could ask for the location of a warm-up room, when fortunately the director of the program for which I was auditioning (the Saar-Lor-Lux Opernstudio) came out of the audition room and introduced himself.  He was wonderfully nice and told me where the practice rooms were (right around the corner, conveniently) and said I was the next person after the Baritone who was currently going to be singing.  So, into the practice room I went!

I warmed up for about 10 minutes and then came out again, not knowing whether to speak French or German or English with the other auditioning hopefuls who were waiting.  I tried French, and then when it was pretty poor with a few of the auditionees, I switched to German, and finally when that failed- they could at least all speak English.  It did seem that there was a wide age range and skill range of applicants, from having talked to a few, and I was really not sure what to expect.

After the Baritone sang his last few notes, the director of the program came out to get me in order to begin my audition.  The audition was held in the concert hall (so far, so good) and there were two other adjudicators in the room besides the Conductor/Program director.  He introduced them as the Assistant Director and the Intendant (the Stage Director).  They both spoke French (yikes! It begins!) and I tried my best to say what little I had learned in the past two weeks from my Mango studying.  At any rate, it seemed to go okay since neither of them were offended (phew, pronunciation was correct, I guess) and I went onto the stage and handed my music to the accompanist.  He had looked briefly at what I brought earlier in the hallway before I went in, and now he seemed mildly bewildered.  I began with "Les oiseaux dans la charmille" from Jacques Offenbach's Les Contes D'Hoffmann and it was a complete disaster.  The accompanist just couldn't play it AT ALL.  I mean, it's not a complicated accompaniment, and if nothing else at least he could have played one of the hands in the right tempo (right?).  But, to no avail, I tried to get him to take my tempo (which was not fast by any means, but, which was MUCH faster than he wanted to go) and then when he just was completely lost at about 1 minute into the piece he completely stopped playing altogether and just let me sing the rest of the piece a capella.  Talk about crazy!  I honestly was so shocked that he did not know the piece and that he had done so badly that I really didn't have very much concentration left to put into my singing (and hopefully, although I can't promise anything, my shock and dismay didn't read TOO loudly on my face).  At any rate, I got through it surprisingly well, I thought, after such an occurrence, and I sang the next song that was titled "No.2 Romance" from the piece that they were going to be performing, also from Offenbach, called Ba-Ta-Clan.

Then, of course the requisite 'sit-down' with the jury panel was called for, and I waited with baited breath for them to say something about the accompanist's gigantic flop, but it was as if it never happened. Strange... So, they said they very much liked me and they weren't sure whose voices would match together best (since the opera Ba-Ta-Clan is written only for a Soprano, Baritone, and Bass-Baritone) and that they would need to consider that blend before getting back to anyone about getting the gig or not.  Therefore, they thanked me for the audition, said they very much liked me, and then sent me on my way.

The drive back to Dortmund seemed hopeful as that was the first audition in Germany where the adjudicators seemed so pleased with my singing (and in Germany they don't tell you that often) and so I hoped to receive something positive via email in the days to come.  However, all of my expectations were left unfulfilled when they responded to me approximately four weeks later saying that they were very sorry but that they had not yet chosen a Soprano (still!) but that they were not going to be choosing anyone who had been at that audition and they would be holding another set of auditions with completely different singers in the next week.  Well, you can imagine my surprise upon reading that email.

But, I guess it just wasn't the right gig for me.  No matter, I will keep pressing on! :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

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 approximately two hours per day, and that is only after I've warmed up (which normally takes around a ½ an hour) and then sometimes when I am extra good (but which I should actually do ALL the time) I will also do an hour of yoga before my warm-up (to get the body really warmed up properly). Therefore, you can already see that singing is the sort of profession where things are quite mixed up together categorically speaki(we've already dealt slightly with staying fit, musical preparation, and focused concentration for long periods of time). Keep in mind that this should all be done after having had a healthy balanced breakfast (except for the yoga- try to do that on an empty stomach, to which I say, HA!--because it never happens in that order for me somehow, if I want to get anything else done in the day).

The other categories which take up a large part of my day include a multitude of “electronical information thingamajiggers”. I spend about 5-6 hours per day on the computer: doing research for auditions/competitions, applying for said auditions/competitions, keeping you all up-to-speed through composing Blog entries (at which I have lately been horrendous-but in my defense- I was spending more time on the audition/competition application part of this category), and checking various social media networks (email accounts, one personal and one professional, Twitter, and the infamous Facebook) to make sure that I'm not missing an important piece of news from a friend/colleague and to let everyone know, between Blog entries, that I'm still alive over here. Keep in mind, once those audition applications are finished being typed up, or formatted, or re-formatted, or scanned and saved, or printed out, or ALL of the above, then they also must be collated, filled-out, organized, prepared, put together, and taken to the post office (a.k.a- more time consumed)!

Beyond those two large chunks of the day (I'm already up to 8-10 hours there solely with those two absolutely necessary parts of opera singing) I should also normally spend time on the following things: eating lunch, eating dinner, cooking said meals (hopefully in a budget-friendly and healthy way, if it is possible to accomplish both at the same time) and then doing additional tasks related to the first category's activities. Namely, paying attention to how I am doing health-wise purely physically (by meditating, doing more yoga, going on a solo walk, or checking in with my Alexander Technique progress). 

There is also often work to be done (when learning new music, which at this stage in my career is most of the time) in terms of translating music (if it's in a foreign language) and writing in International Phonetic Alphabet to my music (this is important to remind me of the correct pronunciations at all times). I should also spend time watching the videos of my most recent voice lessons and coachings to determine if I'm doing something well in those videos (if so, good Julia!), or to determine if I am doing something horribly wrong... or standing in a ridiculous posture... or making a face that is just plain ugly during singing (if so, bad, bad Julia!). 

Of course there is also my mental health that I need to monitor in this profession, as there is quite a lot of stress that accompanies singing (more on that in another related Blog post) which needs to be gotten rid of in a healthy fashion, otherwise that terrible four-letter word happens, and I'mthe word sunk for audition season (in this case, I'm referring to the word 'S-I-C-K', for those of you now imagining more colorful four-letter-words). I often like to relieve stress by reading a good book (the titles currently falling under this category are as follows: Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, and Desert Queen—recommended by the stupendous Lauren Flanigan—by the author Janet Wallach) or writing an email to a friend, or calling a friend, or, simply taking a nap! 

Then there is always the obligatory personal life (who needs it?!) that gets in the way (I mean, …... that keeps me balanced) and which needs tending to on occasion (I mean, who would want to live with me if I never talked to them?). And which, honestly, if there wasn't a sort of “safe haven” for me to escape all of the things associated with this career choice of Opera singing, I would really not be able to do this. It is like the famous saying, those who work hard play hard. Well, I wouldn't really call my personal life 'playing hard', but I would liken it to a soft landing after a long day.  For me with the demanding nature of this career it is important to have someone to come home to who is comforting and reassuring. In all sincerity, my personal life is one of the most important factors in my Opera singing success plan, because it gives me a sense of grounding and separation from my career in my down time (and, if I didn't happen to get a positive result out of that last audition, I won't have as high a proclivity to feel like my life's over; Bonus!).

Therefore, there is quite a lot, as you can see, to keep me occupied with this career of Opera singing. 

And that wasn't even mentioning the time associated with completing applications for grants (for those of us who don't have rich relatives who are willing to pay for everything..... or who have recently won the lottery.... or inherited a large amount of money) as well as taking time to do things completely unrelated to Opera (which most people with normal 9-5 jobs would do on a thing called a 'weekend', which is, I'm told, completely devoid of work associated with one's career, to which I say, I've never seen this....'weekend'- what's it like?). In other words, the entire explanation of why Opera singers are sometimes paranoid, uptight, cranky, crazy, and generally spread-too-thin, has just been covered. If you have any questions, please re-read the above. :)  And then, if you still have questions- ask someone with time on their hands...in other words: not me, nor any other opera-singing friends you might have.

Please, Dear Reader, do take this all with a lighthearted understanding. I do actually LOVE Opera singing, it's just that sometimes one has to present the cold, hard facts of how difficult a thing is, in order for those who aren't in one's shoes to appreciate just how hard one is working (even if most people with 9-5 jobs would like to believe that an Opera singer is someone who just 'sings' all day, to which I say, LIKE THAT'S SO EASY!).

Hopefully this was informative to those of you who weren't expecting an introspective on my life's work.  And, without irony, if you do have any questions, please, as always, feel free to comment! I'd love to hear from you!!  And if you want to compare relative difficulties of your career with mine, that would be superb! I would love to hear about someone else working so hard (it would make me feel better)!

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 the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Her voice and her personality are the stuff of legends. She was the person who actually is credited with starting Luciano Pavarotti's career: she found him singing La Boheme at La Scala and being booed off stage, and by helping him to find his high notes through teaching him her technique of doing it, she created a megastar of him, as well. Thereafter the two were said to be best of friends and collaborated quite a lot on many notable productions ( like La Fille du Regiment and Il Trovatore at the Met).

Although she might not have been the most perfect singer when it came to dramatic interpretation (as some might suggest) or diction (as most might suggest), let's face it, the woman had the voice! There are numerous times where I've seen her on YouTube, or heard a recording of her, and her voice is just unmistakable. It couldn't be anyone but her. Her voice was simply stunning, and I bet that every person who has heard her, either recorded or live, will admit that. She found the perfect mixture of beauty, strength and uniqueness that is ideal for an Operatic voice, and it was even so perfect as to make her other foibles (the possibly not perfect dramatic interpretation on stage and the sometimes questionable diction) practically non-issues (and to a picky, educated Opera public, that's saying something)!

Coincidentally, I had just contacted the Sydney Oper House a few weeks ago to find out where I could mail a fan letter to Ms. Sutherland, since her work meant so much to me and my own experience of Opera. She was a person who made Opera something to strive for, for those of us who are still working on 'becoming something' in this field. She set such high standards in terms of technical sound perfection, and she also presented a likable persona both on stage and off, which is a difficult combination to find normally in someone who is so famous.

Ultimately, I would like to thank Joan Sutherland for consistently doing her best in this profession and putting such love into it that her contribution to opera was able to touch such a wide audience (those already within the profession, not to mention, those who merely became familiar with Opera through hearing her name or hearing her sing).

I guess I did get to write that fan letter after all....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

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 an idyllic American utopia for creativity.

So, thank you very much to Dan, whose informative nature and lovely blog-following has helped all my readers out! Thank you all for being so interested!! :)

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!