Wednesday, June 20, 2007

20.06.07: A day in Lucca, Italy

Woke up. Without any help from my alarm clock. I'm getting back into a relatively early morning routine which I love! It also helps that by 11 pm I'm so exhausted that going to bed is the only thing that sounds fun. When did I get so old?!

Beat the boys to the shower. Since our day's don't officially start until 9, they're not up until about 8. After writing that, I realized that most of you don't know my housing situation. I live with an Italian family which consists of Cesare, and his son Giacomo who is 26. There are also 2 boys from the music festival who live in this same house. Yesterday I got a roommate so I finally have some female company! Definitely felt a little foreign living with 4 guys! Anyways, back to important matters: I bought a new shampoo in town yesterday and it got my day off to an amazing start!

Started the day off with a little Italian study. I have GOT to learn some more verb conjugations! Pretty much I walk around using lots of infinitives or just sticking an "o" on the end of French verbs.
Ate some amazing Italian granola called "Vitalis." Pretty much makes my life every time I eat it. One of those simple pleasures.
Biked into town for Italian. I'm becoming a big fan of my bicycle. Never mind that it's 100 years old, is completely rusted over, and feels like it could fall apart at any moment. We spend a LOT of time together during the day and I feel like she really understands me.

Italian class. This was a little intense today. The teacher told us an hour into class that we were finished for the day and that he was leaving. Apparently we weren't reacting enough to what he was saying. It's a little rough trying to just spit things out in Italian though! Even after he said we were through and asked us if that was ok, no one said anything, so I had to once again pretend like I speak Italian and told him that we wanted to learn, please continue, etc. I can understand his frustration, but I'm not sure that he understands ours all the time. It ended up being a great class, nonetheless.

Had a coaching with Donna Brunsma, one of the coaches that directs the program I play for (called Solisti). I have to play a recital next Tuesday and the program has 16 arias and a few songs that they want to make sure are up to par. The coaching was fine, but the singer didn't show. LAME!

Group class with Lorenzo Malfatti. Lorenzo is a wonderful Italian who's lived in America for some time but knows everything about Italian music. He did a Fulbright study with Aaron Copland. Despite his useful information, the man is about 85--no exaggeration--and I frequently get frustrated because he doesn't always seem to be quite on top of things. Which would be fine in any other type of setting. But it's frustrating trying to put together a recital program when he's not up to organizing it until a few days before.

Played a voice lesson and got PAID! Yeah for making money! Especially when it's in euros.

Learned music and sweat approximately 5 gallons. It's been SO hot the past couple of days. And it's really humid. Which wouldn't matter if air-conditioning were more popular. Oh well!

Played for coachings with Lorenzo and Donna. One excellent thing about the program thus far is that all of the faculty really like me, which I have a feeling will come in handy at some point down the road. I especially like working with a coach from the Florence Conservatory, Rolando Russo. He's fantastic! Donna's also great. She worked at the Florence Opera for 10 years, and the Chicago Lyric for 21.

HOME!!! Checked the emails, made some pasta (Love the Italian staples!), chatted online, searched for apartments in Michigan, and updated my blog. Chatted a bit with Cesare to work on my Italian. He speaks no English, which definitely makes for good practice!

And that was my day! For all of you who were wondering what my life is like in Lucca, that gives you a snapshot. And some background for future blogging!


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