My first ever train ride went very well, though we did have some lingering Travel Karma pop up in the middle of the day when we learned the hard way how to recognize a seat that is reserved. Did you know that all of your foreign language skills leave your brain as soon as you are confronted with an irritated looking native who is talking to you in a very fast, insistent voice about how you are in her seat on a train? Because they totally do. Mostly we both just looked at her wide-eyed and blinking like baby deer into the twin barrels of a shotgun. Lesson learned. The scenery was beautiful, and we both actually got some work done.
We arrived here at Schloss St. Martin in the evening, and were totally stoked about our accommodations. There are 2 separate bedrooms with in each little suite, and half a bathroom on either side, one with toilet and sink and the other with shower and sink. This means that we basically get our own bedrooms and bathrooms! It’s a bit like staying in a seriously nice dorm, which makes sense, since the Schloss doubles as an overnight school.
The grounds are gorgeous, with an organic garden, vineyard, orchard, and lots of flowers. The buildings are all this cheery, butter yellow color with the oh-so-European red-tiled roofs. Gorgeous.
We got to meet our fellow singers (there are 10 of us) and the staff, all of whom are incredibly friendly and helpful. We were all too jet lagged to talk much that first night, but we are much more sociable today. We have all levels of singing background: graduate level like myself and Joann, undergrads of various years and even a math major who has only been singing for a year and a half! Similarly, we all have different levels of proficiency with German, some of us with little or no prior study and at least one who is basically fluent. I think it’s going to make the program really fun to have such a diverse group.
Today we are having our first hearings for the faculty and each other. We’re all a bit nervous since we’re all coming down from jet lag and hours drying ourselves out in airplanes (it doesn’t help that we are referring to these little singing introductions as “hearings,” a term that evokes a degree of panic in just about every singer). But rehearsals went well this morning, so I expect that we’ll all be fine. We also have our first German class today, which I am a little worried about. My German is coming back, and I’ve found that I can follow simple conversations, as long as the sentences are not directed AT me (panic erases my brain, as I said above), but coming up with words on my own is still a little…rusty…