Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saxony Saturday

I am spoiled here in Dresden. As I was sitting out on the rooftop terrace of my apartment last night I saw a shooting star and made a wish. The glow of the Frauenkirche was in view as I sat on the rooftop with a dear friend among the stars, some creepy night time birds, and a warm cup of tea. Earlier in the day I had completed a long rehearsal on Act II of La Traviata at the Semper Oper. It was a good rehearsal and we ended at 1:00. It was a gorgeous fall afternoon so we got on our bikes and headed out into the country at least two or three miles out of town. We biked along the Elbe and marveled at the towns off in the distance. We could see spires of churches or of old castles. Saxony is a breathtaking place. As we rode along we came upon a windmill. It reminded me of the Keebler Elf windmill. It had been there for ages and as we topped the cobblestoned hill path we realized it had a biergarten in the rear with a spectacular view of the river. We parked our bikes and shared a delicious slice of buttermilk cake and two dark local beers. Families were out with their children and older people were out with their dogs. Fall began to creep into the air later that day and you could tell that people were out grasping the last bit of warmth left in the month of September. I drove my bike back to Dresden with a smile on my face counting my blessings for my day of work and play, for balance, and for beauty.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Perfect what?

“No man is perfect, he just has perfect intentions.” I believe that quote came from the Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie from the early 90’s. It popped into my head this morning as I decided to get back on the blogging wagon. Five whole months have passed since I’ve written and although regretful, I am not too ashamed. I know it’s hard to gain a following of readers if one only writes every five months, but the last five months have been, let’s just say, scattered and a bit transitional for me. My internet connections were iffy and my focus was on packing up my home in Atlanta and moving to Philadelphia, spending time with family, and writing just wasn’t feeling natural. BUT, it’s a new season of opera and I’m now back into my rhythm and want to share with you some adventures! So, welcome back to all of us!

I arrived in Dresden, Germany on September 1 to get ready for my next performances as Violetta in La Traviata at the Semper Oper. I am ecstatic to be working in Europe again and am very much looking forward to singing in this magnificent house. Dresden is a very cool city, for lack of a better word. It sits on the surging Elbe River and has a majestic baroque skyline. It was completely destroyed in 1945 by American bombings and thankfully has seen recent growth and commitment to reconstruction. I must say that it is rather painful to visit museums here and see how devastated this city was after WWII. So, the word cool seems like a good description. The people are cool, nice, but not overly warm and the new construction with its lingering old facades makes its modernity chic and sehr hip.

I’m living in the restored home of the composer Heinrich Shutz. This building has been completely renovated and is brand spanking new. I believe I was the first to use the dishwasher, like a good American would. The building was built to serve as a retirement home for the elderly. It isn’t a nursing home like you would have in the states, but rather like a spa for the elderly. In every room there is an emergency call button and in the basement there is a spa where you can get massages and facials and spend time in the sauna or steam room. I think it is nice that they let young, loud opera singers stay here. I’ve heard there are four singers in the building. It’s actually a really good combination to pair the elderly with jubilant vocalizes and I hope they will think of our noises as a sort of music therapy. So far, no complaints.

Welcome back to How Can I Keep from Singing. I’m eager to begin a regular blogging practice and keep you all informed of my whereabouts, doings, and thoughts. Thanks for joining me again! Now off to Prague for a day before rehearsals start later this week. Happiness!