Thursday, October 20, 2011 bella Italia!

It's wonderful to be back. Although I've spent more time in Germany than in Italy in the last few years, I love both of them. The food, the air, the helpful people, the language--oh, and did I mention the food? In Italy, as in France, a quick meal is fresh and delicious. A simple piece of foccaccia becomes a savory delicacy.

I flew from Frankfurt to Milan, which turned out to be an accidental revelation, as I usually take trains for this type of journey. Still, this is a quick trip and this was the second of three legs, going from CA to DE to Milan and then to Brescia (train for the last). And the revelation? Well, we flew over the Alps--which were amazingly gorgeous, snow covered to the north, furry, brown and green to the south. I wish I'd had my camera, but foolishly, I'd stuffed it (well, actually my cell phone, as I don't carry an actual camera) deep into the recesses of my carry on. A wonderful Polaroid moment missed...

Right now, I'm in Brescia, Italy. So what's the first thing to do (after a brief nap)?

Watch a soccer game at the hotel bar, along with a light snack. No smoking: oh, the joy! That's one change I'm grateful for over time.

It was a great match, between Bayern Monaco (Munich!) and Napoli. Munich scored very early on and the game ended in a 1-1 tie. The guys at the hotel bar were cheering for Naples, but--as I'm so often in Munich--I had to cheer (silently, of course) for the team in black. Both sides were great to watch.

The next day, after about 11 hours of sleep--I don't normally sleep on planes--I did what any self-respecting American does whenever possible (except not usually me): I went to the mall, sad to say. In my defense, it's the local shopping center, and I needed to pick up a few supplies.

Next, the Duomo. Brescia has a new and an old, both closed during the long lunch hours (sigh). Guess when I was there? Forgot my camera (phone). Yet another of many Polaroid moments missed. I seem to make a habit of living my life instead of getting pictures of it. I'll have to get a picture before I leave so that I can post it.

It shocks me how blocked my Italian is in my brain at the moment: German pops into my head reliably whenever I try to think of what to say. I don't know if I'll be here long enough for that to shake loose or not. While I learn languages quickly and they do come back for me, they get rusty so quickly that it's very, very humbling.

Oh, and Freia? Well, that role rocks! I hope to sing her many more times in the future. But for now, I've got one more performance of Das Rheingold in this run after I return to sunny CA. Verismo Opera, however, will be performing it again in Vallejo this weekend, Oct. 22/23, with my double-cast role partner.

What I'm reading: I've been plowing through Patricia Briggs' Mercedes Thompson series, a recommendation from my bibliophilic niece--an affliction shared by many in my extended family. I do love her protagonists and can't put the books down, although they have too much horror, vampirism, and gore for my personal taste. I also just finished Erica Verrillo's excellent MG (Middle Grade) Phoenix Rising Trilogy. It takes a few pages to really get rolling, but once it does, wow! Clearly an allegorical "green" tale, the story is both Elissa's quest and the quest to restore the world she lives in, with the four elements (earth, air, fire, water) playing crucial roles. No more details, as that's enough of a spoiler as it is.

What I'm listening to: Das Rheingold (can't turn the soundtrack off in my head), a little Italian pop, and Otello with Freni and Vickers. Great pairing!

What I'm learning: same old, same old (focused audition rep), but I love it!
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