Thursday, August 16, 2012
I have four costumes for Blume and for the most part the costume changes for this show aren't too complicated for me....I have two changes in the first act and then one in between the second and third acts (for which there isn't an intermission). The entire cast has a very short amount of time to go from being either a Hawaiian or an American party go-er to black tie Monte Carlo. We are also responsible for changing part of the scene change once we are finished changing our clothes. We have to carry on tables, chairs, champagne buckets, glasses and our umbrella for the song that follows.
Usually, I am one of the first people to finish changing because neither of my costumes are particularly complicated........BUT during the Sunday matinee performance this "easy" costume change did not go according to plan. While having my third act dress zipped up by a friend, the zipper pull decided to free itself from my gown which left the zipper in an unusable state. In a panic, my friend and I ran to the nearest costume lady for assistance. But of course everytime I move my body the zipper, which was all the way at the top when the zipper pull came off, slowly kept coming apart. By the time we secured the zipper with a safety pin it had become undone until half way down my back. Luckily there was an attached detail of fabric to my shoulder that allowed for some coverage over the open part of my back. It was a very stressful and nerve wracking few moments and for the third act I had the best posture of my life to be sure I didn't pop open the safety pins :)
Here are the pics of my costumes...
These are my "pajamas" for the pajama party in the zweiter act.
Welcome to Monte Carlo for the dritte act!The shows have all been wonderfully well received! The chorus finally found out, after four weeks of being in the show, that this is a very scandalous production. Many of the jokes are dirty and we had no idea! I mean we kind of had an idea, but not to the full extent :) it has been so much fun singing and dancing with the rest of the cast, I'm going to be sad once it is over....
Can't wait to be home in 5 days! Xoxo
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Ps. Just after I finished typing this some older German women came and sat at my table with me. I assume that it was because the table next to mine was wobbly and they wanted to have their coffee and cake hour in peace. But I thought it was funny how they sat down, surrounding me, all the while continuing their own conversation. They were very pleasant, and said hello to me of course, so quickly I told them I was finished and let them enjoy the table :) I love this town!
I felt that everyone involved was totally on in their performances, the chorus sounded excellent (which maybe could have been due to the wine toast we had prior to the show - one of the chorus member's wife had had their baby that week) the soloists were on fire and the orchestra sounded great! Even the weather, for the first half, was excellent. Then we went in the building for intermission...........and it began to pour. I believe we extended the intermission a bit to allow for the rain and then resumed our performance. The rain subsided up until the scene right before "Va Pensiero" at which point we took another rain pause. I was amazed at the singers (Nabucco and Abigaile) for the great amount of concentration that it must have taken to continue to sing in that much rain. That duet also happens to be one of the longest scenes in the opera. I'm not even sure if they could see the conductor through the rainfall because it was soo heavy. Due to the rain and the extra delays we didn't end up finishing until midnight. Once the show was over I was glad to take a hot shower and climb into my bed :)
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
This was not a nude beach, nor a topless beach......but we saw both of these activities take place while we were there. Apparently it is custom to change your clothes once you arrive at the beach, on the beach. And I learned a smart trick to keeping warm on the beach while also being able to go in the water. Bring a second swimsuit, which is to be kept dry and change in to it once you are done swimming. Very smart.
All in all it was very relaxing to lay in the sun on the shore of the Baltic sea :)
Me posing as an added garden statue
A picture of part of the garden.....notice the bass drumsThe group had all brought food things and wine to share and Tina (owner of the house) had prepared several wonderful dishes!
Our grill of yummies :)
Our tiny bathtub bar!We all sat outside and talked and laughed and ate great food until the wee-hours of the morning.....not really just until about midnight, but the former sounds better :)
Another strange thing about this house is Tina owns several pets. Among them a dog, named Julius, 3 cats (whose names I do not know) and some chickens. To be more specific......23 roosters and 10 hens. To say the least there is never a quiet moment at that house....
This one escaped out of the massive chicken coop, and was nice enough to pose for a photo!
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I sang an aria from Die Fledermaus called "Mein Herr Marquis", it is also famously known as Adele's Laughing Song. And I sang the Flower Duet from an opera called Lakme with my friend Katie. I was worried a bit about being healthy enough for the concert, but it all turned out alright and was a great success!
The Lakme Duet with the lovely Katie Bieber
Sitting in the dress rehearsal listening to each other sing
The view of the windows and chandelierAt the end of the concert all of the singers were given a small token to remember the building and the concert by. It was a nail from the original construction surrounded by plexiglas. The nail is beautiful, in the same way that all the other "old" things of Europe are. The nail is covered in rust and is bent a little which shows the life it's lived and the history it is a part of. The other cool thing is that each nail is different, besides the wear on them, but the actual shape of the nails are not the same because they were made before the time of machinery. We were given these gifts because about 5 years ago the roof had to be rebuilt due to water damage and therefore these trinkets make a very nice souvenir :) I haven't taken a photo yet, but I will try to get it up soon.
All of us dressed and ready to sing :)
Saturday, July 21, 2012
The show is set in the time that it was written so 1920's ish...but we haven't had costume fittings yet...so I will be sure to post pictures when we do!
I believe the whole show has been staged, which is great news because we don't open until August 4 (open dress rehearsal on Aug. 1) so we have lots of time to tidy up our dance moves. The show is an operetta, which means that it is more like a musical than an opera (sung by classically trained singers) so there are dance numbers and dialogue as well as musical numbers. The most difficult part so far has been the language barrier .(once again) Not so much because of the stage directions, the director and most of the cast members speak very good English, but because the spoken dialogue is in German and full of jokes and things that we are supposed to react to. It's hard to react to someone when you have no idea what they are saying. So what we have been doing so far is plotting a scene and then the director will stop and explain to the chorus or one person in particular what he wants them to do and then we go forward. It's worked quite well so far, because when he gives me a key idea to focus on or a key word to listen for I can usually pick it out.
Our director is Hardy Rudolz and he is THE Phantom of the Opera in Germany. It says so in his bio, except it says DER Phantom.....haha he has been a lot of fun to work with and also it's a great experience to work with some one who has done so much in the musical worald in Germany. He has also talked about being in the original Cats on broadway in Germany, and Les Miserables (I think)
Blume is also great fun because we get props for our dances. (a Seaholm high school specialty, which would also be the last time I was in a musical) The three american girls get to do our dance number with a fan and then later on we all get to use an umbrella to sing about how there is too much rain in Monte Carlo (slash Eutin) and how we miss Hawaii.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Perfect timing too, because Calvin left yesterday morning and I started really feeling awful yesterday afternoon. Perfect timing also, actually not really, because we have our vocal chamber music concert this Sunday and I need to be well enough to sing on it. And sing well! This past Sunday was the instrumental chamber concert and there was a review on it in the paper today. I don't want to get a bad review due to the sniffles! On the concert I will be singing "Mein Herr Marquis" which is Adele's laughing song from Die Fledermaus, and the Flower Duet from Lakme. Both pieces I've sung before, although I haven't sung the laughing song in quite a while so that is the one I am more concerned about. But I had a coaching with the musical director Urs Theuss today that went as well as it could. I "sang" through (more like coughed and squeaked through) it one time and then we sat down and had a discussion on text and translation. We finished the session by speaking the text and Urs correcting me where necessary. Productive in it's own way for sure, and we will meet again tomorrow and I hope that it is better!
So as we can all imagine things are very different in Germany from in the United States. I think I've said this a few times before but.....the strangest thing so far is the Kleenex. It is cheaper in the market to buy a package of 15 travel size Kleenexes than it is to buy one big box. This I know because I have gone through practically all 15 packages in the past two days (mucous monster). But it is a serious price difference. I'm not bothered by it at all, it has been very convenient for the bike riding situation, more like confused or just baffled, if you will, as to why this is? Another thing that is different is the stores have 10 or 12 different flavors of fisherman's friend cough drops. I have grown to love these cough drops and will be bringing some back with me for future use. Although they make me sneeze 3-5 times every time I eat one.
Everyone here in Eutin is sad that Calvin had to leave, especially me :( I had so much fun exploring and playing while he was here I hardly had time to blog (sorry :) I'll try to be better) Even the Neue Eutiner Festspiele was sad that he was leaving. On more than one occasion Jana, she is the instrumental coordinator for the Festspiele, asked him to stay because there are four percussion parts in Die Blume von Hawaii and there were only three percussionists brought over from America. But sadly he has other commitments and opportunities in Lawrence that he needed to get back to, but wouldn't that have been awesome!?!
Back to being sick in Eutin....I have adopted my grandparents method: Step 1. designate quarantined area, in this case my bed. Step 2. Get brown paper bag. Step 3. place bag next to quarantined area to make easy disposal of used tissues. Step 4. Empty bag as needed. This solution has worked very well, and now you all have a picture of what my room looks like right now.
I also noticed while buying Kleenex and fisherman's friend that the stores don't have chicken noodle soup. Again duh chicken is called haehnchen, but this threw me for a loop while was in a state of panic at being sick in the first place. But I found something that looked like broth with noodles and a meat product, and it was tasty so I guess I was successful :)
Ok off to get some rest......zzzzzz
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
View from our table at lunch on the terraceDuring lunch we looked over our map and decided on what we would like to do the rest of the day, and settled on going to the Brahms museum followed by St. Michael's Lutheran Church CHECK , because they were very close to each other. On the way to the Brahms museum, we got caught in a massive thunderstorm, mind you we are on foot with one umbrella. The rain came out of no where, it was nice and sunny........and then it wasn't. One funny thing, which wasn't funny at the time I imagine, was like a scene straight out of a movie, two girls were walking on the other side of the street in the rain and one of their umbrellas became turned inside out and then blew away into the street from the force of a bus. Probably and image that won't quickly be erased. Soaking wet, we made it to the museum and had a nice time looking around while the rain continued outside. The museum was very interesting and had many artifacts and original pieces of sheet music by Brahms that were breath taking to see first hand. The most mesmerizing artifact there was Brahms' piano that he used to compose and teach lessons on. I REALLY wanted to touch it, but figured that wasn't allowed.
Yes. We climbed to the top of that tower.It took a while, but I think I survived because of all the bike riding :) it was pretty cool thought we got to walk through the bell chamber and see the giant bells. They started ringing right as we got to the top! I was glad that they didn't go off with us inside the room with them....that would have been loud and probably terrifying!
Not a great pic of me.....but oh well :)At St. Michael's the crypt is also available for viewing so we decided to check it out. And talk about spooky....not in a horror movie kind of way, because the renovations on it were very nice, but just feeling the age of the building and history of what was beneath. There weren't actually any remains left in the church, they were moved quite a while ago, but gravestones are there (they are the floor) and some of them have very nice messages written on them. The messages were all practically the same, but still nice. The most famous grave was that of C.P.E. Bach (son of J.S. Bach).
Me outside of the churchAs we were leaving the church there was a service starting, and there was a lovely piece being sung by a soprano as the prelude and it sounded quite lovely. We then decided to walk back to the Rathaus center because we had seen some tents set up, that looked like an outdoor restaurant, while walking to the boat tour when we first arrived. We were so happy to have decided to do that because it just so happened to be the "Stuttgarter Weindorf" ......an outdoor wine and southern German food festival!!!!!! We stayed there the rest of the evening exploring the cuisine and culture of a different area of Germany, complete with Lederhosen wearing servers and bartenders :) for two euro we bought our cute wine tasting glasses and were able to enjoy......wein vom fass. Translation: wine on tap.