Yes, I've been really bad about writing blog entries. But here's a run down of the last week or so.
We finished our week of what I felt were quite successful and fulfilling musical rehearsals, I had a day free, and then I had to travel out of town for an audition in another country. I'll write more about that at a later time if anything pans out from it. I came back tuesday evening to begin staging rehearsals on wednesday morning. Except that because of various scheduling issues with cast / staff, they had in fact already staged a great deal of the opera about two weeks before I arrived with many of the principals, so my job was to watch what had been done and then jump up and do it myself. It can be kind of challenging to jump into a staging rehearsal without first "walking and talking it" or without watching it several times, especially with a new role, but I was so eager to get on my feet and start running around like a boy, that I didn't mind. The very first thing we worked on was the duet between my character and the tenor, which is a gay love duet in this production, so I immediately had to practice making loving gestures that were masculine. It's not easy because we're kind of spooning at one point, and my tendency is to get all girly, but I have to work at keeping myself butch. The director gave me some good advice, which was to be more solid when I grab a body part instead of all "caressy" and it helped. Then, in the next two days, we did all of the parts of the opera that I'm in, so now I know what all my staging looks like. I also got a look at the drawings of the sets, which look incredibly cool, and was excited to come across this advertisement on the side of a building when I was walking back from a lunch with some colleagues:
I am really enjoying Warsaw as a City quite a lot. It's not so big, so I can really walk the whole thing (at least the main parts) it is very clean and easy to navigate (except crossing the street which I haven't exactly figured out the rules for yet). The young people are very stylish and well dressed, and I like watching them walk down the street from sidewalk cafes, where I've been able to sit often since the weather has been ridiculously nice. The other night some polish colleagues took me to eat real polish food because I'd been really wanting to eat a good pierogi, and when they asked me if I had ever tried fat on bread, I thought they were getting confused with language. But as it turns out, "fat" that you spread on bread is a real thing, and it's delicious. I guess it's some kind of rendered animal fat, but before you gag, listen to me when I tell you it tastes like the best butter you ever ate. I have no idea what's in it exactly or how it is created, but it tastes like, well, if you took bacon and melted in down into a creamy spread. This is what it looks like (it's on the left - the other spread is a kind of yogurty chive thing - also delicious)
Because of the easter weekend, we now have 4 DAYS completely free. Normally I would be happy with the free time, but since pretty much everyone is leaving to go home, the thought of having no human contact for that long is daunting. I'm okay spending a day or two on my own, but by about day 3 I start to feel like a crazy person. In fact, I was just reading this article in the New Yorker about how prisoners in solitary confinement almost always go completely crazy, so I'm not the only one who doesn't get into the whole being alone thing. But I will survive and try to explore the parts of Warsaw I haven't seen, and maybe even make a trip to Krakow, which is supposed to be an amazing city. Or maybe I'll just sit in my hotel room all weekend and watch movies and eat fat on bread. Both possibilities have their charms.