I have quickly come to realize my great appreciation for modern art. There is a really awesome art-nouveau furniture store that I pass between the theater and the center of the city sometimes (not necessarily every day, but a lot), and it has SUCH amazing looking furniture-- while i really like going for that classic, inviting look, I feel like if I ever had the choice to decorate my place (or at least one room) the way I want to, I would make it super futuristic and modern. ;) I find it so interesting when there are ball lights the size of a basketball and the size of a big workout ball sitting in the front window, looking like they are completely made out of paper that has been twisted in a certain way to look like a sort of modern-rose type texture, with the light coming through the small cracks. It was just so mesmerizing that I usually almost run into like 5 people at that store entrance. ha. It's like that with expensive shoe stores, as well. When I walk past a store full of 200 euro amazing leather boots, I just can't help but stare!
ANYWAY! In Basel we went for a half-day trip with my drama class to see the opera Aida, since the city is only about an hour from Freiburg. The minute we stepped out of the Hauptbahnhof (trainstation) it was like a dream city. Everything was just perfect. The Hauptbahnhof had this BEAUTIFUL white stone facade... prettiest train station I ever did see! And since Switzerland was neutral during the war, they were never bombed, so all the houses may have been redone in the last 50 years, but you can tell that they are their original handwork. It was sunny, 60 degrees, and not one bit too touristy. Only problem= they use Swiss Francs, worth about as much as the USDollar, but everything costs WAY more there than in the US or even in Germany. For example, a 1/2 liter of coke was about 4 CHF. Not cool. Nonetheless, it was overwhelmingly beautiful.
The opera Aida was GREAT. It was funny: at the beginning of the concert, a woman came out telling us that the main character Aida was sick, and her understudy would be singing, and EVERYONE just sighed and went 'ohhhhhhh!' it was so cute. It was like they had come just to see her! But the woman who played her wasn't bad! Then she also said that the role of Amneris, the second lead female role, was sick and was still performing, so please don't judge since she might not sound her best. ha. I didn't notice a THING. she was AMAZING.
But basically, this opera was written in the 1870s by Verdi as a celebration of Egypt and Ethiopia (people say it was for the Suez Canal, but that is only a myth-- he denied this opportunity to write a piece, saying he didn't write 'occasional' pieces) It was about a big love triangle happening during a war between two countries-- between an Ethiopian princess (unbeknownst to the Egyptians who she really is) taken by Egypt to be a slave (Aida), the man chosen by Isis to lead the armies of Egypt (Radames), and the Pharoah's daughter (Amneris), who happens to be Aida's boss. So naturally, Aida is torn between protecting her people and going back to her country and loving the murderer of her people. Kind of like the story of Achilles and Briseis, but in the middle east. So naturally, the Basel Theater took a VERY modern interpretation of this opera in SO many ways-- there were so many times where there were literally 15 different things going on onstage, so it was very hard to follow the line, though it was interesting finding that everything onstage symbolized something going on in the story. Pretty cool.
Meanwhile, back in Freiburg...
I have slowly come to realize how much I live off of learning. I really hate being unoccupied, as most of you know, but I think as I am a student, I get very frustrated when I can't be learning new techniques on Bassoon, since I feel like I always need work. So starting lessons pretty much jump started my Freiburg experience. They take a very different approach here to lessons, not in the sense of how they are taught, rather in the TIME they are taught. My lesson will begin at a certian time, and if we both don't have anything after, we will just keep going until she feels I have done enough. It's pretty awesome. She has been teaching me warm-up exercises to do, which I thought I would hate, but i actually think they are kinda interesting and better than the straight scale/arpeggio and tonguing thing. And double tonguing??? SO HARD. omg. Crazy. Today we also played a bit of the Mozart, and I really enjoy that she just lets me keep playing instead of stopping me all the time. I had the score with me, so she played the bass piano part while I played the solo, and it sounded SUPER awesome. I love playing duets! ;) I am very happy to be studying with her. She is pretty much adorable, and she told me once, 'Your German is better than my English!' So it's fun to have my lessons completely in German. I'm learning so many vocab words! I also met her husband today, who happens to be the principal bassoonist in the Freiburg Phil (connections, anybody??? teehee), and her 8-month old baby girl! so cute!!!
I pretty much had an awesome day today, from having Film and Art History (two classes I REALLY get, since they are all artsy and we pretty much just describe pictures all day, which i LOVE to do) to practicing in the morning AND having a lesson tonight (catch that? I practiced AND had a lesson!) to finding an awesome music store and buying an awesome excerpt book that tells you MEASURE NUMBERS! It makes me so happy that i can finally find where the excerpt happens in the piece itself... my other book has SO many random little parts cut out of the big picture and i have NO idea where to find them unless i listen really carefully to the whole piece... but yeah it's pretty much the best book ever. ;)
Nonetheless, from this week alone my enthusiasm has been boosted by a landslide, and I am grateful for my experience here. :) I also met a girl who is going to take me to her favorite places around town, including a 50's style American burger joint (since i'm craving burgers like CRAZY) and Germany's biggest theme park, Europapark! ha. So awesome. ;)
well, this is way too long once again. ;)
Bis später, Tschüss!