Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shakespeare, Sarah Wagner, and School

Hi Everyone! In the past two weeks I've had lots of opportunities to see a lot of great theater that I wanted to tell you about. Last Thursday I saw my first opera at the Salzburg Landestheater, "The Marriage of Figaro". That was quite an experience! The music was beautiful; both on the part of the pit orchestra and the performers on stage.

If you are familiar with the Marriage of Figaro, then you know that it is very confusing. If you're not familiar with it, then it is even more confusing, and I don't think that I can explain it adequately. Basically, these two servants (Figaro and Susanna) of this Count want to get married, but the Count has his designs on Susanna, meanwhile ignoring his wife the Countess, who for some reason actually loves him. But a young soldier is in love with the Countess, and since Figaro is so in debt to the other woman, she wants him to marry her. And there is lots of fun mistaken identity going on, people running around and getting confused (as well as the audience) and people falling in love. And since it was sung in Italian with German subtitles, that added to the confusion.

But! The staging was really great. They used one of my favorite staging techniques ever for the last act called a "scrim" (a screen that is lit from the back, with the actors behind it so you only see the silhouettes), and that was really inspiring and gave me lots of ideas for the next Mahler-Hynes production.

Then, a few weeks ago, the school assigned us "buddies" from the Salzburg University so that we can get to meet some natives and people our own age. My buddy, Sarah Wagner, and I started emailing each other back and forth right off the bat, and quickly met up for breakfast over a weekend. And she's so cool! We got along great, and found out that we have a lot in common. She's actually from Germany, but she's a psychology major at the University. She's also a vegetarian, loves theater and cooking, so as you can imagine it was quite a success. And this Tuesday, she found out about an acting class for native English speakers or proficient students of English at the University, and we both went to that and had a blast on Tuesday night! I'm glad that we met up and that she invited me to that!

We also made plans to go see "Der Sturm" (or more commonly known as THE TEMPEST) together on Sunday. Unfortunately it turned out that she couldn't make it, but I still went by myself, and it was amazing. Of course I knew exactly what was going on even though it was in German (some of the more famous parts were in English), and it was really cool to see another version of it, especially done by professional actors. And, what was also really cool, was that they did so many things the way that Dan and I did! So that was really gratifying to know that we were doing something right...

So, things are going well! Early next week I depart on this two week break adventure!

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