Thoughts on life and music.

Lady of the Camellias, Eugene Onegin and The Merry Widow

It's been a busy couple weeks since we got back from Dubrovnik. The Croatian coast is so beautiful, I couldn't stop taking pictures and looking at the water. Chihiro and I have decided it's the perfect place for a honeymoon, we weren't even there in the peak season and it was amazing.

When we returned we immediately had rehearsal the next morning for Lady of the Camellias, which is essentially Verdi's greatest hits to the story of La Traviata in a ballet, we rehearsed Monday and did the show Tuesday. I love when we do shows like that, just get it done in rehearsal and perform instead of rehashing the same material over and over again. I also play fourth horn, so if I play my long tones and off-beats once I'm all set. :) Then we did the same schedule for Eugene Onegin, a Tchaikovsky opera to the text by Pushkin. I love the singers we have at the National Theater, they have such beautiful voices. I'm happy to be able to recognize a few of them at this point, we've done enough aria concerts that I can imagine who's singing when I'm sitting under the stage. I love playing in pits, it's so fun to be a live soundtrack to the story onstage.

Eugene Onegin

Lindsey warming up

Rebecca checking out the part

I sit right by the door, so I get to be the official greeter for everyone arriving.

Je suis la jeune fille!

After a week in Dubrovnik it was hard to actually be working again, but I survived. A few Christmas packages straggled in, I got a sweet sweater and corduroys from my mom and Rebecca got a serious stash of goodies:

Thanks Mom!

Rebecca's mom is a champion packer

I've been doing pretty well getting out for runs, it's unfortunately been a little too cold/snowy lately but last week it was great!

On Sunday we had a Super Bowl party. Unfortunately the game didn't come on in Bosnia until after midnight, and we had 10am rehearsal. So Rebecca downloaded the Super Bowl from 2011 with commercials and we watched that instead! None of us are hardcore fans, so it didn't really matter which game we were watching so much as what food we were eating. I made 5 layer dip, with fajita beef and onions, refried beans (no canned Old El Paso here, so I actually made them in a frying pan), salsa, guacamole and sour cream. I almost died of happiness. If we had fiesta blend cheese I would have. 

Kent made some amazing chili, and I got a special batch without beer... Mine had Jack Daniel's in it. 

Watching sports is hard work.

Since we were watching the wrong game anyways, Adi didn't have to be embarrassed to wear a Jets jersey to the party... Haha!

Duck faces, Pringle style.

This week we started rehearsing The Merry Widow. The opera was done while I was at Hartt (and friends with all the singers), so I know the irritatingly catchy tunes already. It's hard to get the music out of your head! We're rehearsing another few days next week, and have two shows on Friday and Saturday. I think it will be a good performance, I wish I could see it from the back of the pit! There's a folk music band that plays during certain scenes, and a mandolin solo with orchestra that sounds really cool. The opera is being sung in Bosnian, so it's interesting to hear compared to the English and German versions I know. 

Chihiro is very merry.

Chihiro and I met up with the trumpet professor from Dubrovnik at the Celtic Pub while he was in town teaching at the academy. All the trumpet students love him, and it was fun to see him again!

During rehearsal I was reading a book about art theft during WWII specifically focusing on Klimt, and while describing fin-de-siecle Vienna they mentioned Lehar's Merry Widow. While I was listening to it being rehearsed!  

Šime (one of the trumpet students from Dubrovnik) and I at the pub

So I've been wondering when I'd see an accident here, since the cab drivers can be a little reckless. I was originally on this tram when it left Ilidža, but I had to run an errand halfway to town so I was on another later train by the time it got to the city. Some cab driver got in the way and lost. People in the street were laughing and pointing, no one was hurt so they thought it was pretty dumb of the driver to get in the way of a giant train.

I've also taken up crocheting since I got here. I've been crocheting in the pit, and everyone's getting a kick out of it. Apparently I'm emulating a good Bosnian woman, which I'll take as a compliment! Asim has requested a sweater, and Mattia wants me to make full matching body suits for the horn section... The sweater is way more likely, but first I have to figure out how to make non-geometrical shapes.

In keeping with everyone's growing obsession with crocheting things, we had a stitch 'n bitch. It was more like stitch and drink wine, which was just as much fun.

On Saturday, Lindsey decided to get her hair permed so we went down to Alta for a girls' day at the salon. The salon we went to was called Touch, and considering how upscale it was we got a wicked deal on services. I think my haircut was only about $25, and Amele the hairdresser did an amazing job. I never like my haircuts, it's never quite right and I take a few weeks to be okay with them. But this time I actually liked it as I was leaving the place. Considering that she didn't speak English and I mostly communicated with pictures, gestures and some help from the receptionist, I was surprised I liked it!

In other news, my family was completely snowed in during the Blizzard of '13. I refuse to use the name given by the Weather Channel, because those people need to calm down. I'm glad we have a fireplace at the house, it comes in handy when the power goes out. CL&P actually got the power back on in less than a week, which for them is borderline miraculous. My Rudy survived, the snow is over his head but I think he's adjusting to being a New England dog. I, on the other hand, am cold all the time and am really missing the desert. 
On Tuesday we marked our halfway point in Bosnia, 22 weeks down and 22 weeks to go! It's hard to believe it's half over already, but I've seen and learned so much I feel like it has to have been longer. 

Banja Luka

Dubrovnik Is Magical