Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm back!

Sorry I've been slacking! I have been sooooooo busy! Here is a general rundown of what I have been up to: I went to Schoenbrunn palace, which was great. It was beautiful, but kind of quirky at the same time. It had a bunch of smaller rooms that all had very specific purposes. For instnace, there was a whole room dedicated to brushing the empress Elizabeth's hair. It took four hours. Woah. There was another room that was decorated with pictures that Maria Theresia's children had drawn, which was neat. I would post pictures, but they wouldn't let us take any! Sad. After the tour, Joseph, Emily, Naomi, and I walked around the grounds for a long time, which I really enjoyed. The weather was brisk and windy, and had a little bit of an ominous feel about it. That doesn't sound like that much fun, but it really was. We walked up the hill to the Gloriette, which is where they were going to build an even bigger palace but didn't because they ran out of funding. From there we had a nice view of the city. We also meandered along the tree-lined paths and came upon some very interesting monuments. There was one that looked like Roman ruins, but clearly nothing had stood there before. They just build the monument to look antique and dilapidated. I also went on walking tour four this week. We saw the monument to the man who inspired Hitler's anti-semetic ideas. He was also mayor of Vienna, which is why he has a statue. They would never build a statue to him for infecting Hitler. We also saw a part of the old city wall that surrounded Vienna, along with all sorts of neat buildings. Yay! Outside the Museum of Applied Art I saw a banner for a photography exhibit about the poverty in Americus, Georgia. Ironic, right? Who would have though that I would see a sign for an exhibit about GA in Vienna! It was kind of a wierd moment. I also saw a man who had been stabbed in the subway last week! It was intense. I was coming home from FHE, and I took the U2 to the U4 in Karlsplatz. When I got to the U4 platform, I could tell that something wasn't right. As I got further onto the platform, I saw a bunch of drunk people stumbling around. More than usual, anyway. I though that was kind of wierd, but I kept going a little further. Then I saw a man lying on the ground. Another man was kneeling over him, and tearing his shirt off. As he ripped the fabric away, I could see blood streaming down his chest from what looked like a stab wound. This theory was corroberated by Sister Vincent the next day. She had come onto that same platform right after this happened, and she told me that by the time she got there they were announcing what had happened over the intercom. I did not stick around long enough to hear those announcements. I was about to call 911, until I realized that I did not know the Austrian equivalent of 911! I should probably find that out. There was a man who called it in though. I saw him talking to emergency personell as I left. I exited that platform, and took an alternate route home. Tomorrow I am going to a Monestary that is just outside of Vienna. I will give a full report tomorrow night! In other news, I am going to Prague this weekend! Hooray! We leave on Thursday afternoon, and I am so excited about it! Well, that is all for now. Alles Liebe!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

YSA Performance

Last night my study abroad peeps and I had the chance to give a performance at the outreach institute. Hooray! It was wonderful to have the chance to perform our pieces, even if we were all a little sick. We did the greater portion of our opera scenes program, and it was a rousing sucess. I sang Dorabella in the duet and trio from Cosi fan tutte. Those pieces center around two girls who are madly in love with their boyfriends, but fall in love with other men when given the opportunity. Viel spass. Then I sang in the Magic Flute scene with Joseph, Emily, and Britain. This scene was very well recieved, and it's no wonder! It's got a serpent (played by our very own Rebeker), jelousy, comedy, and magic! Not to mention Mozart wrote some pretty good music :). Next it was onto the Rossini. I was pretty nervous about this scene from Barber of Seville, because the coloratura had been giving me problems earlier that day due to sickness. However, it went very well, all things considered. In that scene I play Rosina, who is madly in love with Count Almaviva, who she previously thought was a student named Lindoro. My wonderfully talented amigos also did scenes from Don Giovanni, Lakme, and Martha, and Ty also played one of his compositions. It was so much fun to sing for all of our YSA buddies. They weren't there to judge us, they just wanted to hear what we had to offer, and support us, which was fantastic. I love to sing. That is all.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Birthday in Bratislava

I am pleased to report that I no longer have that ever-pesky suffix "teen" at the end of my age. Yayhoo! Not to say that my teen years weren't fun, because they were, but I am looking forward to what the next phase in my life will bring. "What did you do for your birthday?" you might ask. Well, let me just tell you. I slept in, which is always a good thing, and then Laura called me and asked if I wanted to go get some lunch. Naturally, I said yes, and we met up with Emily and Joseph at our favorite cafe. While we were eating our food (which we accidently ordered - yay language mistakes), Joseph had the brilliant idea to go to Bratislava. The next thing I knew I was on a train to Slovakia! The more I think about it, the more unreal it seems. Who gets to go on a random European adventure for their birthday!?! I'm pretty lucky I suppose. Anyway, the train ride was fun. Bratislava is only about an hour from Vienna, and we got to see some beautiful countryside. Britain, Joseph, and I were on the same train, and Emily, Laura, and Becky followed about an hour later. We made friends with Fabian, who was seated next to Britain. He was about our age, and works in a hotel here in Vienna. As we looked out the windows, we noticed these round bush-like things in the trees. Fabian informed us that those are mistletoe! That was exciting. After pulling into the train station, we took a ten minute bus ride into the old city center of Bratislava. It was wonderful. We wandered around the old city where quaint Mideval buildings line the winding cobblestone alleys, and took in the general cuteness that surrounded us. After finally meeting up with the others, we ate dinner at this great restauraunt with very kind staff. They let us use their internet to find a hostel, and then we were on our way. For dessert we decided to check out a chocolate cafe. Brace yourselves - they serve you bowls of melted chocolate that you eat with a spoon. Oh my goodness. It was heavenly. This literally was an establishment that served nothing but chocolate. Why do we not have these in the states!?!?! It was awesome. After gorging ourselves, we meandered our way around the city, and eventually found our hostel. We stayed there for 13 euros, and none of us really slept. They were having a party in the bar downstairs, and the unbelieveably loud music didn't stop until 3 in the morning. Ouch. At seven, we stumbled out of bed, and back into the city. As we were entering Bratislava on the bus the day before, we had seen a castle on a hill overlooking the Danube, so we decided to go check it out. It was built in the 8th century. Wow. We couldn't go inside, because it was closed, but we wandered around the outside and took pictures. After that, we went to visit our good friend Billa, and headed back to Vienna. But wait! Naturally, there's more. A few hours after we arrived in Vienna, we had a rehearsal with the casting director of the Theater an der Wien in the rehearsal space in the theater. Yeah. We worked on our opera scenes with him, and he talked to us about how the business really works. What a great contact!! Yay Joseph. Well, that's all for now. I have to go recover from the week! Bis bald!

Here are some pictures of my Birthday adventures.