I arrived in Germany on Sunday evening last week and since then I have had such a fabulous time.
Monday to Saturday my day was scheduled to begin at 10 am finishing at late evening. We work on the staging of Carmen, singing lessons, movement, and coaching. The whole experience has been so wonderful, but also very tiring, so I was relieved to have the day off today.
A traditional day at the Berlin Opera Academy begins with a movement class for an hour with Andrea Danae Kingston, who is an energetic character to ignite our energies in the mornings. At 11:00 we then move on to production rehearsal, which involves staging scenes from Carmen with Gidon Saks. His direction is feisty and full of drama. It is great to work with him as an artist as every musical phrase has a new energy and thought to provoke the flow of the storytelling. Peter Leonard, our conductor, also leads these sessions to encourage us to keep the integrity of the written music and to ensure that the music reflects the drama. The whole cast and production team are wonderful to work with, and everybody is compassionate and encouraging towards one another.
It has been an adventure living and working in Berlin as I have had to get used to the public transport system here which is very well organised and enables you to get from
A to B very efficiently. If anyone is visiting, I greatly recommend using the app BVG fahrinfo to help you get around. It has made my life much easier, especially since my average travel time from home to each of the rehearsal spaces is 45 minutes including multiple changes. I hope it has prepared me for tube life in London. Learning lessons everywhere in everyday situations!
On Saturday after a day of rehearsals we all got the opportunity to get our glad rags on and take to the stage and perform in the Opera Gala. We performed in a beautiful museum setting in the Mendelssohn-Remise, which was a very poetic setting for songs about love and loss. We all had a wonderful time, and I am excited about the lieder concert next Saturday.
I can’t wait to get back into it tomorrow!
On my day off today, I was able to explore a little more of Berlin, and I came across an eccentric flea market, Berliner Trödelmarkt which stretches out across large boulevards near the Tiergarten in Charlottenburg. The products on sale ranged from fashion, stamps and collectibles, gifts, art, furniture, food, and ornaments. It was so wonderful to see each store holders personality in the collections of items that they sold or created by hand.
Later in the afternoon I then had a singing lesson and then chilled out at the flat with my beautiful flatmates and friends from the course.