As we round out week two here at TOP, I could not be in a happier mood! Regrettably, the week had a bit of a nasty start as I wound up getting some yucky stomach bug from food here. I wasn't the only singer to suffer from this 24 hour spell and I'm glad to report that everyone (even our Wagnerian tenor) has recovered quickly.
Sadly, I was out and missed our Monday concert. I heard from numerous sources that despite my absence, the concert was a huge hit! SJ sang as the Countess from Marriage of Figaro with much success and I was told our friend Theresa sang a fabulous and sassy rendition of "Fair Robin I love."
I took Tuesday easy but was still busy with classes and lessons. We started doing "neutral mask" studies in our Dance and Movement course with Paul Kusterman (also known as Gloria Winterbottom if you dare to Google his name!) Anyone from my acting class at Carnegie Mellon can vouch for my skills when it comes to neutrality.
Wednesday was our day off and I did the coolest thing I've ever done. I climb(ed) every mountain, and I ford(ed?) every stream.
Yes, that's right! I climbed the Alps! It was an intensive 3 hour hike straight up into the sky but it was worth every step. The view was stunning. I was joined by SJ, Theresa, and Liz (all singers at TOP) as well as Paul and David (Paul is a TOP director's assistant and David is our super pianist). We climbed through gorgeous valleys filled with wildflowers and over several brooks. Which, in Austria, really do laugh as they trip and fall over stones on their way.
Okay, I promise not to make any more Sound of Music references but it was so picturesque I could barely believe my eyes. It was like standing in a postcard.
Once at the top, we rewarded ourselves with hot Quese Spitzel. (Although I'm certain that's not quite how you spell it!) It came out on steaming pans and tasted delicious in contrast to the chilly air at the top of the mountain.
Thursday we had our usual morning classes before taking a drive to Salzburg! Let me state, I am in love with Salzburg. The old part of the city is spectacular. As one of my friends said, "Well no wonder Mozart was great! If I lived here, I'd probably compose beautiful music too."
There we watched a masterclass with Sir Thomas Allen at the famous Mozarteum Conservatory. Even though the majority of the class was in German, I understood a surprising amount. Music is a universal language and opera is fabulous and funny everywhere. I found myself learning without needing an explanation of every word.
Today, was spent preparing for our train station concert tomorrow. We are taking the cutest choo choo train through the Austrian countryside to Jenbach where we will perform. After the concert, we will eat hot pretzels and mingle with people from the area. I'm very excited!
I'll make sure to upload photos to this post (and several epic videos from my Alps adventure) soon but for now, SJ and I are off to bed! Guten Nacht!
Climbing the Alps: