Trip to Salzburg: June 9th

After our late night, we left the hotel at 11:00am to go to the train station. We were spending the night in Salzburg.

We got to the train station and waited for our bus. I grabbed a quick green smoothie before the 3 hour train ride. I napped for 2. 🙂

We arrived in Salzburg and went to the hotel via the bus. It was the same hotel as the one in Vienna, but with Mozart themed carpet, artwork, and more!

Christie, Jessica, and I were all in a room together. We had a mini balcony area with a great view. We left the room shortly after to go to the city center to explore.

Our first stop was Mozart’s childhood house. It was filled with traditional instruments, personal letters, and paintings. The audio tour was very informative, but long. The group sped through the tour, while Christie and I stayed a little behind. We met everyone at the gift shop, and Vince said we should take a shot in honor of Mozart. They had dark and white chocolate liqueur. Mozart would have been proud.

Christie and I left to go get a bite to eat. There was a local Italian restaurant close by called L’Osteria. I got the mushroom risotto and Christie got gnocchi with shrimp. After our delicious lunch, Christie and I went closer to the Salzburg Dome.

I have been meaning to visit the place since I heard we had a day trip in Salzburg as part of the Vienna Summer Music Festival. This dome/cathedral holds a special place in my heart. When I first visited Austria seven years ago, that cathedral made me realize that I wanted to sing for the rest of my life.

Things had changed slightly in the seven years, and I didn’t recognize the cathedral at first. There was a chamber choir, chamber orchestra, and soloists performing a work inside. It completely complemented the atmosphere! I lit a candle to pay my respects to the divine music gods…and it was magical. The second I lit the candle, the choir and orchestra hit a beautiful dramatic chord. It felt right.

We walked around a little more, soaking in the intricate artwork. We may have choked up a little.

After the beautiful visit to the dome, we walked around some more shops and local churches. We went up to a rooftop terrace for more views of the city. We then met the group at a local restaurant and had a beer. We walked back to the bus station…and missed our stop. We walked back to the hotel (only a 5 minute walk) and promptly passed out in our beds.

Masterclass, Coaching, Wine, and Dancing: June 8th

10:00-12:00 Masterclass with Judith

Judith gave us an inside view on a singer’s life in Vienna. She had a very natural approach to her teaching and gave us a few exercises to work on our pelvic floor. She is also a recent mother and talked about the change in her technique.


I ate at the Yak und Yeti for another lunch buffet. This time, I ordered fresh guava juice with my meal. Delicious, relaxing, and full of sunshine in the garden.

Jessica and I went o, ver blocking for “La ci darem la mano”, since I never got a chance to work on it with my Don Giovanni.


14:30-15:00 Music Rehearsal with Zerlinas

We worked with Maestro on several sections, but mostly our first entrance.


16:00-17:00 Coaching with Daniel Sarge

I had a coaching with Daniel at KlavierGallerie. I sang through “Caro Nome” and “Sul fil d’un soffio etesio” with him. He gave me some great suggestions for repertoire, great pointers and I absolutely loved working with him. There’s too much to say on one blog post!


After rehearsal, we went to Heurigen. It’s like a biergarten with local wine in the 15th district. We ordered some white and red wines for the table and some sparkling water to dilute the mixture. I also ate a tomato mozzarella pesto salad with a cucumber salad. I didn’t end up finishing it, and gave it to Jubin instead. The wine was a bit strong, but we had fun time catching up with everyone.

We left Heurigen to go back to the hotel around 22:00. Some of us wanted to go to a few clubs. We left to go to Cactus, a local club in Schwedenplatz. We went together as a group and a fun time dancing. The music got boring and we went to another club with Latin music. There weren’t many dancers there, and Christie and I walked back to the hotel.

June 7th

9:30- 11:30 Class with Erika Sunnegårdh

Our class with Erika was a little bit of meditation, self-discovery and trying to find out why you want to pursue this artform. Big stuff to think about in the morning with a big group of people.

We did some meditative exercises and explorations into which words resonate with you as to why you want to get up in the morning. In a way, this brought us closer together. Some people had very emotional moments, being so open with their personal thoughts about their artistry. It was really nice to be in such a supportive circle.


After the class, Brenna and I got a quick lunch and some coffee and hot chocolate at a local coffee shop. The dark hot chocolate was SO sweet! I couldn’t finish it.


13:00- 15:00 Don Giovanni 2

We were running through act 1 completely to give people the chance to run through more staging again.

15:30-17:30 Don Giovanni 1

More review of act 1!


After rehearsal, some us went to Le Burger to get some food. It was another hipster burger place at Mariahelfenstrase, where most of the shops are located. Jubin works there, so he was able to show us around.

I ended up talking with Liza, who has been living here on an artist’s visa for 4 years. Someone had cut me in line at the burger place and earlier when I was ordering a quick lunch before rehearsal. Liza said that it happens to her a lot and most people assume that since we are smaller, colored skin women that we won’t say anything. I wasn’t sure what to say if someone were to skip me. Liza said that I should say, “Ich bin hier” or “I am here” to them. Got it!

19:00- 21:00 Suor Angelica staging

We finished all of Suor Angelica’s staging, but we have a worker from the Schonbrunn palace working for us! She plays the Madonna statue for the whole show and comes to life at the end when Suor Angelica kills herself.

…Yeah, opera.


Act 1 finally staged! :June 6th

10:00- 12:00 Silvia’s Masterclass

Silvia’s masterclass was great. She worked with several students, and some even in different languages. For Edgar, she spoke to him in Spanish. She used to be a professional singer, but now teaches mostly due to her children.

During the long break, I went to Otto Bauer, a cute little cafe/hipster place. We had delicious ginger lime lemonade for some of us at the table. I ordered a falafel patties with greens and a sort of hummus on the side. Yummy!


15:30-17:30 Suor Angelica Music Rehearsal

This was mostly a chorus rehearsal, so I didn’t have to present.


19:00-21:00 Don Giovanni Act 1 and Review Staging

We have finally finished act 1! But since certain people weren’t there or couldn’t sing, some of us flipped flopped casts. I got to work with Joel, the other Masetto for casts 2 and 3.  Jessica was having some vocal difficulties, so she asked me to sing for her. After finishing the first act, we went back to work on scenes we have yet to do.

Unfortunately, Daniel, my Don Giovanni for my cast, hadn’t done the blocking either. So, we stumled through the duet, but ended up watching two others who knew the staging while singing for them.


After the staging rehearsal, some cast members wanted to go out for a drink. Brenna, Zach, Adrian, and I wanted to go somewhere more quiet without as much smoke. We found this cute little Austrian place and had some Apfelstrudel and vodka shots. This has sort of become a little tradition after rehearsal! We had a great time!


Religious Holiday/Shops closed: June 5th


10:00-12:00 Masterclass: Following the Conductor

12:00-12:30 Recital Music Run Through

19:00- 21:00 Suor Angelica Run Through


Christian’s masterclass was more like a discussion for following the conductor. He wanted to get coffee after the class to discuss more! So Viennese!


My run through with Byron was quick. We went through 3 Spanish songs from Cinco Canciones Populares Argentinas by Ginastera.


I made lunch at the guest kitchen at the hotel, since Monday is a religious holiday, and all the shops are closed.


Suor Angelica staging is almost done! Gabrielle is feeling better and has been singing through, so I have been observing and writing down all the blocking.


After rehearsal, Brenna and I went to Pacho’s, a local Mexican place. We got another vodka shot with our food. Quite delicious and we had great discussion about operas, people, and life. Then it was straight to bed for another day!

Staging Rehearsals and recover day: June 4th

Today’s schedule

11:00-13:00pm Don Giovanni Cast 3

13:00-13:30 Costume Showing Female Leads

14:3-16:30 Don Giovanni Cast 2

18:00-20:00 Don Giovanni Cast 1


I skipped yoga to sleep in and take care of my voice.

I brought my costume to the showing. We were asked to bring a “steam punk” outfit to fit with the theme. The theme is Don Juan is Dracula. Zerlina, my character, is bitten in the first act and is turned into a vampire in the second act. I brought a black corset and a long black skirt. I was given a red ribbon to lace my corset in the back. I may be getting red shoes as well. We shall see!


I was watching casts with their staging. With 3 casts, it’s difficult to get all the staging done in one day.

I was progressively getting better with the medicine I got from the pharmacy and Byron’s Thieves’ Oil essential oil.


After rehearsal, Jessica, Carli, and  I went to meet up with Lukas and Mike at a club. I wanted to go to a bachata/kizomba social. We went to Volksgarten at first…and it was the wrong club. We kept walking around and eventually ended up at Opera Club. I danced for a few songs and walked home.

Lesson, Staging, and Pharmacy: June 3rd


11:00-13:00 Suor Angelica sing through

I had to present for the first hour before leaving for my lesson with Silvia. The sing through wa helpful, since I was covering and needed to adjust to the conductor’s tempi.


13:00-14:00 Lesson with Silvia

Ended up taking the subway lines and the tram to Silvia’s house for our lesson. I arrived early and stopped by a French cafe called “Creme de la Creme”. I ordered a freshly squeezed orange juice! 🙂

After the orange juice, I headed up to her apartment and we started the lesson. Since my year off, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had a lesson with a new teacher. My lessons that I had in October and March in Tallahassee were with teachers I was already familiar with…not someone knew. I forgot this strange feeling of trying to be open-minded, and yet hesitant to take any bad habits or something that might possibly hurt one’s technique.


We worked on some exercises to get the voice into a masky resonance area. I was starting to feel a bit of the cold that Gabrielle had, so I had to concentrate more than usual. We ended up talking about my mouth positions and my approach to head voice. All the things I am currently working on!


After running through “Caro Nome” again with her several times, she clarified certain topics that I am currently working on. It was incredibly helpful and I hope I can work on this before going to Ohio State this fall with my new teacher!


14:00-16:30 Don Giovanni Staging

I was going to be late for staging anyways, since I was on the east side of town. We staged the first few scenes of Zerlina’s entrances with Masetto. We didn’t get as far as we would have liked, but we would be able to watch other casts to get the staging.

After the staging rehearsal, Jubin and I got Vietnamese food. I had a delicious rice noodle bowl with fresh veggies and veggie spring rolls. I wanted to go to the pharmacy to try and get some medicine for this oncoming cold. Unfortunately, most stores were closing early, due to the weekend. SUnday, most buildings are closed and Monday is a religious holiday.

I had to find a 24 hour pharmacy closeby. Jubin found the location of one I could go to after our rehearsal.


18:00-20:00 Don Giovanni Staging with another cast

I went to the rehearsal, but asked if I could leave early to go to the pharmacy. I went to the location Jubin mentioned at Kennenbruckengasse, but they pharmacy was closed.

I found another one at another station off of another subway line. I got to the station, and tried walking around. This pharmacy must be in a secret hiding spot because I couldn’t find it for 30 minutes! It was closing at 8pm, and I was still searching for it at 7:59.

I decided to call Mike and ask him to look for some 24 hour ones. He found one not far from our hotel. Apparently, all you have to do is ring a bell and someone will give you what you need through a little window.

I got my medicine, drank some tea, and went straight to sleep.