We started our Italian school (Scuola Italia) today. The director, Corinna, began speaking in Italian and did not stop. I have always heard that immersion is the best way to learn a language. I listened as Corinna described our next month and told us about herself and the other staff. I was so excited because I was understanding most of what was being said.
Next they took us on an official tour of Piobbico, concluding at the Castelo Brancaleoni, which is where we will rehearse and perform our scenes and arias. We have been able to meet and speak with many locals, which is helping my Italian immensely! The people of Piobbico are very cheerful, kind, family-oriented people. Families will gather around a table at the local caffe to share a drink and some laughs. And they are never in a hurry - meals last for hours!
We also had our first day of rehearsing today! It was fantastic and very exciting! There are no divas here. Everyone I have met is professional, kind and very down-to-earth. There is not one person here who is not prepared and ready to learn. We have participants who are 19 and just finished their first year of college, we have many who are just out of grad school, and even others who have their doctorates and are teaching full-time. The diversity in age and stage of life is a wonderful component to this group. It provides us all with a chance to learn something. *And boy can everybody sing!!!!!
We were also told more about what to expect at the end of the program when we travel to Urbania to perform Il Trittico with the Orchestra. The city of Pesaro has a wonderful music conservatory and is host to an annual Rossini festival. These musicians make up our orchestra for Il Trittico! WOW! We will have two rehearsals with them prior to the July 4th performance. Our performance will be held in the Teatro Bramante, which I learned is where Verdi's Il Trovatore premiered. The design is very much like any typical Italian Opera House, complete with four tiers and grand decor! WOW! I feel like I am dreaming.
The food has also been just incredible. I have eaten at some local restaurants and everything I have had is awesome! However today I also went to the Supermercato for the first time. It was so fun! I bought and prepared for lunch some vine-ripened tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil and can I just say that I have never tasted anything like it in the US. I mean – YUM!
Can you tell I am having a blast! It is just wonderful here!!!!!!!!