Wow - things are really different here in europe in terms of people and their careers. The other night I decided to check and see if any of the singers had videos on youtube just out of curiosity, and sure enough, almost everyone had something. Then tonight I went out to dinner with a couple of people, including the bass in show, and he mentioned something about being on a horse and singing an aria on youtube, and I discovered that he had about 20 videos on youtube as well. I feel so unfamous and american compared to all the people in this cast - it's very daunting. But I'm not sure if I should blame myself. It seems like european singers start performing and working much earlier than american singers, who all often go through our educational system, followed by our young artist system, followed by years of arbitrary decisions made by casting directors who may or may not know the difference between good singing and bad. Here in europe, it just seems to be very different. People know things about opera - regular people - and they care about the art form with such a great passion and energy. Operas are on tv all the time here (hence the large showing of european opera singers on youtube compared to americans) and people tune in and watch with interest. I really regret I didn't try to come here much sooner, but at least I'm here now to be a part of the history and culture of something I've been studying for most of my life. I am VERY happy to be here, and I'm not going to spend my time wondering why I didn't come sooner, but instead, I will work as hard as I can and try to create an opportunity to come back.
So today was the day off and since it was cold and rainy and everything is closed on Sunday in Italy anyway, I spent most of the day in my apartment resting and studying my music. But, as I mentioned earlier, I did go out with some cast members and spent the night speaking only in Italian. We went to this place called Eataly which is apparently where the "slow-food" movement began, right here in Torino. I'm not entirely sure what the slow-food movement is, but I gather that it's something like organic natural food. Not sure what's slow about it. Eataly is a big market and restaurant that has different counters with different types of foods - meats, fish, pasta, vegetables. The only place there was space for us to sit was at the meat counter, much to the bass's delight and my dismay. But when in Rome (or Torino)...! I only ate about 1/3 of my steak but my companions happily finished the rest off for me as I tried to explain in Italian that the reason I don't have a boyfriend is that I'm just picky. Except I don't know the word for picky in Italian, so somehow I ended up saying "I don't have a boyfriend because I'm just difficult." I meant to say that it was difficult for me to find someone I liked, but of course it came out wrong, and my dinner companions thought the whole thing was hilarious and very much enjoyed pointing out the ways in which I might be difficult (not wanting to eat steak, for example). They also had a discussion about how delicious horse is. When I expressed my disgust at eating horse, they said "you're eating a cow now! What's the difference? And horse tastes even better!" No thank you.
I had more gelato tonight. If I don't get fat while I'm here, it's seriously going to be a miracle. But even if I do, it will be worth it. I have to go - there's a jar of nutella calling my name.