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I'm back.

Jun. 22nd, 2012 09:33 am
freewaydiva: (Mind the Gap)
I've been avoiding a cumulative post about the week in Italy, partially because I've just been so busy since getting back, and partially because it would truly underscore the fact that I'm no longer there.

The end of the week brought a concert of Restoration Period polyphony (Purcell, Blow and Locke) held in the lobby of The Best Hotel EVAR. It wasn't hugely attended, but it didn't matter. We did well, and had a fine time of it. It was also a good lead-in to the next day's Operastravaganza. I also completely caved, and had some pasta at dinner, which was, of course, amazing.

Saturday - our last day in Triora - was made up of a final rehearsal in the piazza for Dido, the afternoon off to rest up, and then the performance for a much more sizeable crowd. The café even had an Opera Special to offer, which was fantastic. In spite of us never having done a complete run-through without stopping, and some costume/logistical things that hadn't actually been done in rehearsal before, we aquitted ourselves of the performance rather well. We won't be taking La Scala by storm, but for a week's rehearsal, I think we ought to be rather proud of our accomplishment. Not only were there no snafus, everyone performed well, looked good, and rolled with whatever small stumbles there may have been. Certainly nothing memorable.

Dinner that night, however, was completely memorable. A meat-fest the likes of which I've not seen: beef, lamb, chicken, pork *and* rabbit. (And antipasti, pasta, and gelato). Dear God...

Because we had an INSANELY early wake-up call the next morning (we needed to be on a bus and rocketing down the hill by 5:30am), most of us were in bed at a reasonable hour, and up with the sun.

It was a glorious week, really. Lovely music, lovely location, lovely people. The adjustment to the life I'd been living before I left has been really, REALLY hard.
freewaydiva: (Mind the Gap)
Rehearsals continue apace - I'm still amazed at how quickly things are coming together. We did a full run-through, yesterday that went quite well. I did my little solo bit, and didn't completely suck, which was a big personal win. (I've been cast as "Spirit" in Dido which is a tiny but pivotal role.) Today we're doing a dry run-through in the church piazza where we'll be performing. The current idea is that I'll hike up to a balcony and sing my bit from there. I hope it works out, because that would be cool.

The only other "official" thing we did yesterday was a master class with Deb and Julia. About seven of us got up and had a 15 minute session. Really lovely stuff. If I had known that I could bring music for strings, I might have worked up some Handel, but as it was we all had a great time. Probably the most relaxed master class I've done to date.

This afternoon we're free-range. I plan to wander about the town and take a load of photos that look as timeless as I can make them (which should be easy, since not a lot has changed here since the middle ages. Hopefully the witch museum will be open, too. Then it will be a nap and some practicing and yet another four course dinner. For the record, last night involved prociutto-wrapped veal. The things I do for my art...
freewaydiva: (Mind the Gap)
I'll admit that I had some fear about coming on this trip. Most of it revolving around having to show up late and get to a tiny mountain village in Italy on my own, and whether I really should be doing it anyway, because it's not the least expensive trip I've taken. I was imagining all sorts of worst-case scenarios, none of which actually occurred, and I managed to make it through three countries by plane, train, and automobile without incident. My taxi driver in Italy - Sergio - was a joy and a delight, and delivered me to the village of Triora exactly on time for the afteroon rehearsal on Monday.

It's a much smaller group, this course, than the choral weeks that I've done previously. About 24 singers, and a handful of strings/continuo. Mostly English, but with two Americans (me and another woman from Seattle whom I sing with regularly), a woman from Denmark, and a woman from the Czech Republic. Oh, and an Austrian viol player. Really, really lovely people. I was a bit trepidatious coming late - it's hard, sometimes, to break in when everyone's already met and begun to work together, but they've all been quite lovely and solicitous. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked how I was recovering from jet-lag, I could buy a great deal of wine. People have, naturally, found small groups that they tend to hang out with, but there is a great deal of cross-over and no sense of cliqueishness. It's a great vibe.

The overall quality of the performers is good, too. We're managing to pull together several baroque choral pieces - all with small ensemble sections - and an entire opera (Purcell's Dido & Aeneas) insanely quickly, with little note-bashing and coaching.

Triora is amazing, and gorgeous. It's a Medieval hilltop village with a tremendous sense of history. I'm looking forward to having a bit of time, this week, to wander around in the "old town" and take loads of pictures. The sense of history is quite palpable, here. and the vistas are AMAZING. We've been blessed with good weather, largely - mostly sunny, not too hot, with a bit of wind. A girl could get used to this.

I'll continue to post photos to my flickr account (Triora 2012) if you want to follow along. They're not really edited, and won't have any useful information, but hopefully they'll be pretty.

Full run-through of the opera, this morning, and a master class this afternoon, and that's it for today. The schedule is gloriously relaxed.

Oh! And the lovely piano music I'm listening to as I type this in the hotel breakfast room is being streamed from SEATTLE. Small world...

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