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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This summer's exciting news: Bad Orb!

So, it's been long overdue that I write something about my upcoming singing in Germany (again) and the good news I've received of being chosen for a singing engagement there this summer in the months of July and August. Therefore, I will begin by saying that because all of you are very dear to me who read this blog and who've supported me monetarily, psychologically and physically over the past years/weeks/months/days, I would like to say that this success of mine is due to your generosity and love for me.  So, I would like to sincerely thank all of you for helping to make this possible.

Now, to the details:

I auditioned for a program called "Opernakademie Bad Orb" on January 15th, 2011 in Germany at the Frankfurt Opernhaus in their Orchestralprobesaal (Orchestral Rehearsal Room) at approximately 2:30pm, after having arrived there around 12 noon.  My boyfriend and I left from Dortmund that morning by car at approximately 9am and arrived in Frankfurt a bit ahead of schedule, but were delighted to find the city virtually deserted on a Saturday morning (Frankfurt is a pretty well-known banking capital of Europe and the World, so I guess it's a ghost-town on the weekends) so that we weren't confronted with gobs of traffic, like we had imagined.

We easily found the parking garage for the Opera house and we got my dress, music and makeup out of the car and went in to the theater via the stage door, stopping by the Pfortner (the person who is basically the security officer) in order to pick up a key to a practice warm for me to warm up in and change.

We entered the practice room (which happened to be a female chorus member's dressing room normally) and I warmed up and changed into my audition dress.  We went upstairs directly at 1:45pm to be a bit early for the audition but the orchestra was still rehearsing in the room, so we decided to go back downstairs to warm-up a bit more.  Then we came back up at 2pm on the dot and found five people already waiting and that the one girl who was signed up on the sign-up sheet to go first, had actually created the sign-up sheet herself---as she informed me that normally it is done that way in Germany. (That was news to me! But, good to know for next time!)

I signed up somehow as 6th, even though I am sure I was the very first one there (lol) and then waited around and watched as everyone else went in and sang for approximately 7 minute intervals. Then, the girl before me who was a Mezzo, came out of her audition acting as if she had gotten the job and bragging about how well she did, so I thought to myself, well, I guess that's that.  Now time to just sing and hope they like it anyway, even if they've already chosen her.

So, I went in to the room, found 4 men sitting behind a table and a female pianist, and then sang the second verse of the Doll's Aria, and then they asked for Zerbinetta's aria- and then that was it.  They didn't seem too pleased and the one guy actually got up and walked to the other side of the room, all the while not looking at me, as I sang my second aria.  So, go figure.

Then, you can certainly imagine my unabashed surprise when, I hear from them three weeks later by phone that they liked very much my singing that day and they wanted to offer me the role of Rosina in their production this summer of 'Der Barbier von Sevilla'!

I nearly fell over holding the phone while listening to the guy telling me this.  I kept thinking things like 'But, this is normally cast with Mezzos!' or, 'But they chose the girl before me!', or 'They didn't even seem to like my singing when I saw their sour facial expressions during my audition!', or, my personal favorite, 'I've never even considered singing this role because I know they always cast it with Mezzos!'

However, once I regained the ability to use my voice to speak to the poor man on the other end of the phone, all I could utter was a feint 'ja, gerne, danke, bist du wirklich sicher?' (Which means 'Yes, gladly, thank you, are you really sure?, of which, the last, was probably not something encouraging for him to hear, I must say.)

Though, after getting off the phone I knew something had happened. And I told my boyfriend who proceeded to espouse all the wonderful things associated with me being cast as the lead in an opera in a foreign country where I had been trying for so long now to really get a 'break', so to speak.

After much convincing on his part that I was doing the right thing by taking it (I didn't want to make a complete fool of myself working in Germany with Germans on a very popular opera- one which I had honestly never seen myself singing, or even thought of singing before!) I signed the contract a week later and I am happy to report to you all that I am now very glad that I did, and I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to learn so much and to be the 'star of my own show' in my career, as well as in life, for a change.

It's a different feeling; I am not quite used to it yet, but it's growing on me.

Wish me luck!! And, if you feel like singing opera this summer, you know where to go! ;)

5 comments:

  1. CONGRATULATIONS JULIA!!!!!!!!! That is incredible! You should be super proud of yourself! Your attitude and commitment are amazing -- I admire what you're doing SO MUCH! And your phone reaction was adorable, omg! Hahah. See you very soon!! ~ Liana

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  2. Isn't it amazing how just when you're about to fall into the abyss of poverty and despair, a gig pops up? lol!

    Great job! Congrats!!!

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  3. @ Liana: I am honestly so humbled by this chance to sing such a huge role, and you know, I just hope that everyone in the audience will be able to get as much out of it as I do in terms of enjoyment. Thanks SO much for your encouragement and for your support- it's seldom that we singers get that from one another, so I am very lucky to have found that in you being such a wonderful colleague and person!

    @ sageyoku: You know, you must have had more luck with this because it's only the first time that it has happened like that to me, and honestly, I hope that I don't have to literally be scraping the bottom of my pockets before I get my next singing engagement- lol! ;) We can always hope, right? :) But, Thank you so much for your comment and your congratulations! It means a lot to me!!

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  4. That's asome!!!

    It is not so far away from Karlsruhe, too :)

    Love Laura

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  5. @ Laura: YOU KNOW WHAT?! That means that you have to come see it, right? :) Doesn't it? At least, I hope you'll get a chance to do that if you're free- I'd LOVE to see you Laura! And, if not, then you can come visit us in Dortmund!! :) Either way, you're a sweetheart for reading the blog!!! Hope it proves fun and diverting to read....

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