“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
This is a headshot from Lauren Schierloh Photography. We did this shoot just a couple weeks before I left on my grand adventure!
After my audition yesterday, I went out to explore Milan. The obvious first destination for any opera singer is La Scala. Well, when I got there they had just closed for the afternoon. So I was forced to wait a bit for my first entrance to La Scala. I found a nice pizzeria in the Galleria and had a nice leisurely lunch with the one of the best desserts I’ve had in a while.
It gave me a little time to daydream as about my future life as a traveling international opera star. The daydream is not that far off from my current reality of traveling and singing. The big differences come with the accommodations and the longer stays in a city, as well as a difference in purpose from desperately finding work, to enjoying making music. Rather than a local hostel and the occasional discount hotel, my imagination upgrades my travels to 5 star hotels and furnished flats with more time working on performances and less time on auditions.
The real difference between fantasy and really isn’t the core of what I’m am trying to accomplish. While my fantasy is lovely, I can live without the creature comforts and still make my dreams come true!
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. 😉
I am swiftly falling in love with this place.
Maybe, just maybe, I like it better than Riva del Guarda because I also have internet.
Maybe it’s because I took some time on the train to remind myself of some of my rudimentary Italian. It sure makes getting around easier…
The proprietor of the lovely little hostel where I am staying has been hugely helpful. At the slightest provocation she will give you lists of “mai suggestione” for what to do, where to eat and what to see. This morning (I got to the hostel earlier than check in to drop off my luggage) she literally told me to get lost… because she thinks that’s the best way to see new things in the city, but was careful to warn me not to do the same thing at night. “Boys is stupido” I nearly lost it laughing.
So I did get lost and found again in just a few hours. I kept finding all of these beautiful contradictions in the most unexpected places. Ancient buildings surrounding industrial ports, modern shops and restaurants built into Ancient architecture… sang in a couple churches and shocked some tourists. You know, the usual.
Some of the sights included the most gorgeous elderly women I’ve ever seen…and some of the ugliest old men…lol. It’s so wonderfully Italian. I’m sure I could spend weeks uncovering hidden corners here but I’ve only got 2 and 1/2 days with a competition in there…this is one of those places I am definitely going to have to see again.