Where to start? The past two weeks have been, as expected, very full and not a little stressful. Our drive from Seattle to Santa Fe (via Boulder, CO) went fairly smoothly. KD was a fabulous traveler, but we did manage to get a flat tire in eastern Washington while it was 95 degrees. All in all, it only added about two hours to our trip, and we made it to my folks house with no further trouble. Two days were spent in Boulder helping to prepare for the Event of the Year - Sally's wedding! She and Steve were married on Sunday, but before that, Erik and I made it all the way to Santa Fe for my first few days as an Apprentice.
We arrived Wednesday evening to meet Pam, my host for the summer. She and her sweet puppy, Madison, are sharing their beautiful home with KD, Erik and me. There is a fenced yard with lots of room for the dogs to run, and there are several seating areas all around, so there is always a spot in the sun or in the shade, which ever you'd prefer. I'm enjoying getting to know Pam, who had a 20 year career as an opera director in houses all over the country, including the Met. There are prints of Zeffirelli costume sketches in the living room - a gift for an opening night of Tosca. She is now working as a graphic designer, having opted to leave the opera world "while [she] still loved it." I think we will be very happy here.
Then, bright and early on Thursday morning, I started my Apprenticeship. It felt like the first day of school! Butterflies in my stomach, and so many questions:
* What should I wear? (I decided on black capris, white cotton blouse, and a teal shawl.)
* What will we do today? (General meeting and tour of the grounds, followed by a read through of the Turandot choruses, lunch, and more Turandot.)
* Will the people be nice? (Of course they were. I have several old friends and colleagues here already, and am quickly making new ones. There is a general atmosphere of fun and enjoyment of our work, but with an understanding and expectation that all the hard work will get done. It feels like a good place to work.)
* Am I prepared? (Yes, it seems, at least for Turandot. We start Peter Grimes rehearsals in earnest tomorrow, so we'll see about those tricky choruses.)
After just two days in Santa Fe, we started our 48-hour Wedding Marathon. We left Santa Fe at 5:30 Saturday morning, flew out of Albequerque, and arrived in Boulder in time for the Bridesmaids' luncheon. We pretty much stayed at full throttle for the next two days! The luncheon; a rehearsal with the church pianist, Kris, for my song Sunday morning (I sang "The Holy City," a favorite song of my granddaddy); the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner; church Sunday morning, at which half of the sanctuary was filled with family, half of whom cried while I was singing. I kept my eyes squarely on the back wall and thought of random vegetables in order to keep froom getting choked up myself!); then preparation for the wedding (I did a lot of makeup, including the beautiful bride); the wedding; the first reception, large in guest list and small in scale (cake and punch); lots and lots of pictures; the larger reception, smaller in guest list and larger in scale (buffet, dancing, etc.); and then we hit the road and flew back to Santa Fe! Erik was a invaluable helper, keeping me sane and taking care of last minute tasks. There was so much family there, I think I only spent about 15 minutes with each of them. It was a crazy weekend, but full of love and happiness amidst the madness.
Yesterday, we started staging rehearsals for Turandot. I really like the director, Douglas Fitch, who is the main set designer, also. I was surprised to learn that this is his first time directing an opera, because I think he is handling rehearsals very well. He has a good team, and we wrapped up Act I today. Tomorrow brings Act II and another working rehearsal for Peter Grimes.
I'll write more soon about costumes (I have three for Turandot alone!), altitude adjustment, and some new trouble with my jaw. And I'll post some pictures!