Friday, April 23, 2010


We have had a long long week of technical rehearsals, where as a singer you almost feel like a prop. You're on the stage for the first time, with piano accompaniment and they are stopping and starting, working the lights, movements of the stage, etc. Our set for "Das Rheingold" is very cool. It is a circular, huge, blue Saturn-type set with a circle in the center, and the floor separates into rings that move up and down and rotate (often while singers are standing, walking, running, or lying on it).
I rise up from the very center, and don't move more than a step in any direction. Yesterday I was given smoke as an experiment, and I felt like Madonna. When they stopped rehearsal at the end of my scene and I was lowered back down, I couldn't resist striking a rocker pose with my fist in the air, my face raised to the heavens in tortured bliss, and smoke swirling around me, as I descended to the depths.
My costume will be viewed by the masses during rehearsal on Tuesday. However, I have taken some pictures, and people who have seen them are rendered speechless. I look like Chewbacca after a sex change operation, and the size of these fake boobs would make Dolly Parton look like she was smuggling mini muffins under her sweater. Several people who have seen the pictures have asked if they are my real boobs. Come on, people! There is no minimizing bra in the world that could ease those puppies into the realm of everyday respectability. We have guessed that I will be asked out by men who have seen me in my costume from a distance, and that they would feel on the date that they had been lured there under false pretenses. :)
Speaking of bras, my friend Richard at lunch yesterday pointed out that it's a shame my fake boobs couldn't be more perky. I responded that as the Mother of the Earth, I shun bras and encourage my breasts to return to the earth from which they were sprung.
I am sorry to report that the streets of Frankfurt are not flowing with lava. There's not even a hint of visible Icelandic volcanic ash in the air. Our airport was closed for days, and there were many concerns as to whether casts would make it back in time for performances. One friend I know drove 18 hours from Stockholm to arrive in Frankfurt 2 hours before his opera.
The Frankfurt public transportation system is run on the honor system. I have a month card, as does my friend Martina. We hadn't been checked once since our arrival, and Martina was not happy about spending all that money for naught. To amuse her, we were on the subway and I (in my extremely limited German) demanded her ticket, her ID, and asked her to hurry up in producing both. Just as we were laughing, an official ticket checker lady actually showed up! We both gave her huge, eager smiles and Martina felt the need to tell the lady how extremely happy she was to see her. She looked at us strangely, checked our tickets, and moved on.
Finally, last week I was on the main shopping/gathering plaza, and suddenly found myself in the middle of a massive, organized pillow fight. Hundreds and hundreds of people beating anyone without reach, and down feathers filling the air with a impotent softness. Truly amazing experience. I also thought it was very German that at the end, as happy children rolled around in the snowy banks of the sudden winter wonderland, many people took their empty pillowcases and refilled them from the piles at their feet.


  1. Love this story! Especially the poetic pillow fight. Well, written, fellow English-major! xx

  2. Good post! Keep it up! I hope you got a camera cord--the world awaits photographic evidence. :-) allison