“Young soprano Elizabeth Gentner…has a supple, full-bodied voice perhaps better suited for a larger venue, but displayed a confidence and command of comedy unusual in a performer at such an early stage in her career.” ~Kathleen Whalen, Daily Republic Correspondent
After my dreamy lunch, I went back to the theater.
All the way up the stairs, there are marquee posters for operas of the past with all of the big names Caruso, Callas, Toscanini you name it! Finally I get to the theater, and what a fascinating and bizarre experience — they are striking the set from the Ring Cycle they just finished. As I walk into the theater itself, I am oddly struck by how much smaller this theater is than I expected. For a place so embedded in the history of opera, it must be on a grand scale as well, right?
While La Scala is certainly not a small theater, it wasn’t as big as I had built it up to be. The way that this theater and what it has meant to Opera has built a reputation and an impression on me that has made it larger than life!
I took the moment and sang some lines of a couple arias. So, I have sung La Scala, however unfortunately, I wasn’t on stage. 😉
Well that certainly was an experience.
A couple of lessons learned in the preparation and day of rituals aside (see the eBook for details), I had a pretty good morning and got to my destination quite efficiently.
I managed the entire experience with absolutely no English.
The government forms that they had me fill out were my first clue. It turns out that the ZAV (Government funded agencies) serve as more of an unemployment purpose than operating as agents to hire the best people. Have you ever had any luck finding a job through the state funded unemployment office?
The woman I sang for was very kind and the pianist impressed. But I was told that I shouldn’t bother with operetta, not because I’m not good at it, but they have too many German singers looking for work in the field and in operetta they can place German singers, so they will.
Evidently the German government has given these agencies an edict that unless they are dealing with spectacular circumstances (not even spectacular voices) they are to give a clear advantage to German singers. I was told very kindly that they were having extremely tough times and that should she wish to work with me, she would have to prove to the state why I was an exception, but not by my singing abilities, an exception based on any ties I may have directly to Germany.
She told me that she loved my Jewel song and that I was fun to watch, but that I should contact the private agencies instead to see if they could help me.