Saturday, April 12, 2008

venezia, week 3

Italian men, I've discovered, have a weakness for femininity. (and I mean "femininity" with the most gentle sense of the word; softness, vulnerability). From the very young waiter at the cafe to the very old doorman at the artist entrance to the shop owner and anybody else in between who happens to be an Italian of the opposite sex; They all smile at me. They kiss my hand, they flatter and adore, they are being charming. They salute me with discounts and free drinks and chocolates and do anything that would make me smile back. Maybe I am being naive, but that's all it is which seems to be their motivation.
Having been here for a few weeks , I now can generally find my way (I have little marks in my head; "at this store sign, turn left"), so I know how to get to some essential places, and finally I seem to know many of the locals by name.
Everybody is kind. I don't understand it; Even I, even I get extremely irritated by the end of the day: Way too many tourists and way too many annoying people who stop right in the middle of a narrow bridge, to take the same pointless photo of their ugly girlfriend posing. ( same fake smile, same pose, same girl, but this time around different background: some gondolas passing by behind!). (yea, yea, I'll admit I've got a few of those my self... ). Just kidding just kidding.
While enjoying the local scene and making a temporary home here, I have been extremely tired. It took me a while to figure out that I am mainly, well... a bit nervous about my debut. (Here I will explain again: I am singing Rossini; the big mamma of virtuosic italianate singing. and I am doing it with a famous italian bunch who does, some of them for half a century, only that).
But I also realized that a big part of my exhaustion, (other than singing what is not my "routine" role and using every bit of technique I might have acquired ever), is the ITALIAN it self . The Italians, mostly, want to talk their own. If they can speak any English at all, they don't care to do so; maybe it's a comfort level, maybe they feel intimidated, who knows. At any rate, as much as I am (finally!) fluent 90%, I still find it exhausting at the end of the day.(finding my words for philosophical arguments on the top of singing countless high top B's and low bottom ones as well).
I went to the open market yesterday morning and bought a bunch of bananas; I hear they help reduce anxiety but also give you energy . (and, guess what, it's the same word in all languages! yay!) A presto.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brava, carissima!!

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read some wonderful news. Vancouver Opera is staging Carmen Jan. 24, 27, 29, 31 and Feb. 3 and 5 in the renovated Queen Elizabeth Theatre. A local blog states that "Rinat Shaham should bring erotic power to the role of Carmen during Vancouver performances in January and February 2009." Along with Canadians David Pomeroy, Mariateresa Magisano, and Daniel Okulitch it should be quite a production.

2:43 AM  
Blogger Singin'rin said...

Yup. and Vancouver was where I did my second professional gig ever, (while still a puppy...) as (my very first) Cherubino...
I still have such good memories of the place, and the experience, and I am truly looking forward to being back there again! (after 12 years!) :D

3:57 AM  

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