It’s hard to believe I’ve been here a week. In some ways it seems like it has flown, in some ways like I’ve been here for quite some time, which I think is good because maybe I’m settling in. I’m certainly sleeping more and more, which is nice because then I feel like my study time is more productive. Typically I have no problem getting my energy up for rehearsal on little sleep, but coming back to the room and studying after rehearsal is a whole different thing.
Saying coming back to “the room” needs some clarification. I’m staying in what would be referred to here as a “bed and breakfast,” located in a very lovely area of Pretoria called “Waterkloof Ridge,” that has amazing views of the city from the road. There are many similarities to the same lodgning in America, but mine is a studio apartment so I have access to a full kitchen, etc. I have the option to eat breakfast at the appointed time, or they will also stock my fridge with breakfast items for me to use at my leisure. It’s well-appointed for longer term stays such as mine.
Notice the “soccer” ball around the tower! It’s full on world cup fever here, I believe it starts in 101 days.
Rehearsals continue to develop smoothly, with us able to dig a little deeper with each session. This last Thursday evening I had the privilege to hear the Johannesburg Philharmonic in concert, which is the orchestra I’ll be leading for the performances of La Bohème. It was an energy filled concert, and I’m very much looking forward to working with this group. Not only did they play well but the several I met afterwards are all very nice people and really looking forward to the Puccini. My only regret is that I don’t start rehearsing with them until a week from Thursday!