Planes, trains and legs

February was an adventure - to say the least.

While in Germany I received an audition for the ZAV. This is the government agency that helps Opera singers find job placement within the country of Germany. February brought me to Leipzig to audition for the ZAV so that I could see if they would agree to represent me in pursuit of work in Germany.

Traveling to Leipzig felt like extreme travel. We left Philadelphia 48 hours before my audition appointment and after 10+ hours on a plane my Mom and I boarded the train to Leipzig.

View from the audition room window

View from the audition room window

We stayed in the city center (our hotel was literal steps from the train station) and I was able to get a full nights sleep before singing for them the next morning. My audition was at 11 so I made sure to get up with more than enough time to warm up - vocally AND physically - as well as get my make up done and walk to The Agency.

Audition selfie in the warm up room at the ZAV

Audition selfie in the warm up room at the ZAV

This audition was … interesting. It was in a fairly small/mid size room - It looked a bit like a conference room with a stage and a piano. It’s you, the soloist and chorus agents, and the pianist. I sang two arias (one of my choice and one was chosen by the panel). I had jet lag on my side so nerves didn’t really play into this scenario. This is where I insist jet lag is a blessing - I didn’t overthink my singing OR the German I was speaking. Since I was not interested in auditioning as a solo ensemble member the chorus agent did most of the talking at the end. We discussed how important it is to always sing the rep you are most comfortable with as your starter (which was a little disappointing as I felt VERY good about my opening piece —— HA!). They proceeded to tell me that I should start with the piece I sang next because it was dramatically more interesting and the vocals were consistent. Much more said but it was nice to have my German tested after time away from the country that has come to mean so much to me. The Agency people do not mince their words - it wouldn’t be very helpful if they did. They agreed to bring me into the database (which was the entire purpose of this trip to Leipzig) so I couldn’t help but feel happy with that success.

The rest of this trip was really about enjoying time with my Mom in Germany. We spent the remainder of the day in Leipzig visiting the Thomaskirche where JS Bach was the choir master until his death in 1750. We got to see manuscripts (seeing music in Bach’s handwriting was amazing) and the Organ where Bach played. We also got to see where Bach is currently interred at the St. Thomaskirche.

After two days in Leipzig it was time to go to Wiesbaden where I had a voice lesson. The rest of the time in Wiesbaden was spent exploring the down town and theater district as well as eating yummy foods.

Our last day in Germany was spent in Weimar. We saw the Goethe Haus, the Liszt Haus and ate lots and lots of delicious foods.

The rest of February was spent getting my schedule for the next few months in order. I am auditioning for the opera chorus at Opera Philadelphia at the end of March. I had to get my audition repertoire ready and that meant practice schedules and scheduling coachings to make sure I can put my best foot forward.

After my chorus audition for Opera Philadelphia I will be returning to Germany for the month of April to get coachings, lessons and to reinforce my learning of the German language.

Looking forward to keeping everyone up to date :)