I have no desire to ever learn Hebrew. In case you were wondering. It just sounds difficult and I can't even read the letters, so it's out.
As you can probably deduce from the above statement, I made it to Israel. I got to Tel Aviv Sunday evening, started opera rehearsals on Monday and have been busy ever since. Coming from Italy the work load's been a bit of an adjustment. Something about having a pausa in the middle of the day that just makes everything feel more relaxed. And the Italian attitude in general. Here in Tel Aviv I've only had two long days at school, but it's felt like a week. Partly because I picked up some type of virus on my flight to London and have been suffering from a cold (in the hottest climate ever), but regardless it's been long.
That being said, I absolutely LOVE it here! Tel Aviv is breathtakingly beautiful. You can see the beach and the Mediterranean from my hotel window and it's lovely. And even better, the program is fantastic! My conductor loves me and is arranging for me to work with some Russian conductors on the opera I'll be doing in Michigan in the fall. The program coordinator gave a masterclass last night, and it was brilliant. And really well attended---about 400 people! I play for one tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to it.
The people in the program are very friendly and lots of them are very talented as well. My roommate is from Mexico City and is one of the nicest girls ever! We won't be roommates for too long because her boyfriend will be coming to Tel Aviv next Wednesday, at which point she'll move out---but that just means my own room! The other pianists here are incredible, which is a bit intimidating but more inspirational than anything. Most of them are older and have a lot of great advice and helpful suggestions.
Basically, life is good. And I'm in Israel. è tutto.