Friday, July 17, 2009

Why I am an idiot...or why my subconscious wants to amputate my leg

Why I am an idiot. It seems like this particular trip to Italy has been unnecessarily rocky. It started out with a little rash on my leg (i think i picked something up from my aunt's dogs) that exploded to a large rash on my leg. No amount of cortizone would cut it...and it was getting to the point that I didn't want to wait until I got home. So I go to Brigyda and say I need to go to the doctor. She puts me in the car with Aldonza--who is very nice but only speaks Italian and Polish--and sends me to the doctor. Once we get to the doctor, we have to wait for him to come back from pausa...never a good idea to inturrupt an Italian's pausa. He shows up, looks at my leg, asks me if i ate strawberries or anything else wierd, asks me if i got sunburned, and then asks me if I have asthma or any other allergies. The whole thing took about 5 minutes. He then starts talking really fast to Aldonza. My Italian is good but when I'm nervous, and with how fast he was talking, I have no clue what he said. He writes a scrip, hands it to her, she says she will fill it and get it to me in the afternoon. Then she tells me to walk home because she has some paperwork to fill out. The whole thing took about 10 minutes. I walked out feeling like I had been seen by a doctor working for the mafia. Anyway, long story short (too late), I got the medicine, didn't know what it was, took it anyway, and it has gone away. I later found out that one of the stage managers was a pharmacist and that they had given me steroids and a different kind of corizone. Whatever. It worked.
Then...a couple days ago, I was walking out the back of the theater. I stepped wrong on one of the steps, couldn't catch my balance, and ended up on the ground. I now have a skinned knee as well as a huge scrape on the same leg that had all the rash issues. Don't worry...it's fine...and is getting better quickly. But heavens!!! Either I am an idiot...or my subconscious has issues with my left leg. I hope I still have it when I get home (and yes mom, I just knocked on wood).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Help!!! Aiuto!!!

Ok. I am in need of serious help! Here's the backstory...

I went up to Pizza due mille tonight for dinner. I went alone because everybody else was either singing Butterfly or at another dinner that I couldn't go to because I skinned my knee and can't get in the car (yeah...another story). So, I went alone. No biggy. I don't mind eating alone ever. I take a book, and all is well. Well, the signore who owns the pizza place is a nice old man...he always talks to me, helps me practice my italian etc. This isn't a new occurance. It is basically always the case. They love it when you can speak enough of their language that they can help you practice. So...he decides...when I am about all the way through my pizza...that he wants to sit down at my table. Again, no big deal. We sat and talked about all sorts of stuff. But, he would randomly throw in strange comments. Like, when I said I lived above the maestro, he said "don't worry...I can take care of him!". Again...thought he was being funny, and I responded with something incredibly sarcastic and basically saying...dude...there's no way in hell...back off. He is an old Italian...it is what they do...but they usually aren't serious. And on top of that, he has my phone number because he said he was going to find me an Italian husband. Now--in my defense, that isn't a big deal because it doesn't trace back to me and I can ignore it. It's like giving an email address. Anyway, I go to pay for my dinner and all of the sudden it is turning into..."I finish work at one...I will call you". And I am just sitting there going...dude...what did you miss about the no hell no! I told him everything I could come up with...besides an American husband or boyfriend...which will have to be my next recourse. But, heavens...why did my one random italian stalker this year have to be a dirty old man! If he calls me tonight, I am making Jeffrey or Robert yell at him in Italian and tell him to back off...and then I am never going in there alone again.
Sidenote...I am sounding like I feel threatened...and I really don't. Don't worry mom, this is not a big deal...just an annoyance. But he actually used the line "Mi chiamano Leo...come un Leone!" (translation..."They call me Leo because it is like a Lion!"). Who uses a line like that!
So...the point of this post is this...
Besides taking someone in from the program with pretty passable Italian that I can sit and basically make out with in the restaurant...I am out of options! Help!!! Any ideas?!?!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Clarify

Ok...I feel like I need to clarify...

I am having a wonderful time...everything is good and going well...we are going to have a great opening tonight...and the assistant conductor is really a very nice and talented person. We are getting along great...we just had a little bit of a rough start. In bocca al lupo a tutti!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ciao da Italia!!!

Ciao da Italia! I realized that I haven't blogged a single thing while I have been here...so I will write a quick update...
I am pretty sure you all know I am Italy to play Falstaff. It is a really great show. Fantastic music etc. But it is also really hard for everybody involved. Hard for the pianist, hard for the singers, and hard for the orchestra. So you really want everyone to be putting forth their best effort. Well...the first adventure when we got here was that Falstaff himself was not memorized. He had been planning on memorizing it when he got here...which, is almost impossible to do that quickly. People were trying to think of replacements that could come and do it at the last minute etc. But...he has pulled through. Basically memorized as of two days ago...which is a good thing seeing that we open tomorrow. It was a huge effort on his part (and he wasn't double cast!). All we can say is imagine what it could have been if he is this good now. Anyway, we open tomorrow and it will be great.
The other entertaining story is the assistant conductor...who didn't arrive until about four or five days ago. He is a real piece of work. First of all...he called me Ellen for about the first three days because that is the name of another pianist he works with. He was trying to change tempos, or directions from the maestro whenever the maestro wasn't in rehearsal. I would stop and say that the particular singer had been directed to do it that way...and he would say that he was sure that was wrong. Then he would check it with the maestro and realize that I was right. I don't know how I could have possibly been right...it's not like I haven't been watching the stick for the past two weeks. He doesn't have a very good sense of how to prioritize fixes so as a result he is always asking the maestro about itty bitty things that Joe can't quite worry about this late in the game with young singers. He comments on everything...how he doesn't like the voices, the pianists, anything he can comment on, he does. I don't want to sound like he is stepping on my musician ego or anything either but, he kind of wants me as the orchestra to be completely subservient to him--which in some cases is completely acceptable--except that he doesn't know what the maestro has been doing up to now, and the maestro hasn't gone through the entire score with him, and he refuses to stay and watch when the maestro is there...it's just too long of a rehearsal apparently. So as a result, I'm the one who knows what is going on when there isn't a stick. He just can't handle the orchestra having an intelligent brain that writes things down in her score so that she can remember them when there isn't a stick. And my favorite is when he takes his own breaks. Just walks out...he wants a break every hour and a half. He looks at me and says "you conduct" and leaves. Apparently it is hard work sitting in the front row, leaning on the edge of the chair, barely waving his hand around because he needs a lot of breaks. I can't imagine that he has really come off a Fess contract...because he doesn't seem like he works that hard! It's really very funny. Ok...I feel like I have to say one redeeming thing about the boy...let's see. He is very useful listening to balance and colors in the orchestra and has a good ear for catching musical mistakes.
Overall, it has been a good start to the summer. The weather has been pretty decent and it is always gorgeous in Novafeltria. My Italian is getting better by the day. All well and having lots of fun. Thanks for reading!