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The Soprano


The drive wasn’t as long as the flight thank goodness. But it was silent, which I enjoyed very much since I didn't feel like talking to anybody at the moment.

When we arrived to the Elisabethstrasse hotel, I saw that my bags were being taken to my room immediately. I was escorted from the car to the inside of the hotel. And it was beautiful, everything looked lovely and obviously on high class standards.
The walls have many decorative bouquets of roses and other wild flowers, giving the atmosphere I pleasant floral smell. The room was lighted with majestic chandeliers that hanged from the hand painted ceiling where cherubs would play their harps.
Everything was just gorgeous.

“There you are!” I heard a familiar voice say. “Hello Jacob.” I responded with a smile on my face. He grabbed my right hand and placed a light kiss, “I trust that your flight was passable.” I lied, “It was very enjoyable.” And with that he led me to my room and explained how the audition would run on the way.

I had two days to prepare myself and recuperate from my jet lag, which seemed like little time, but to me, it was just enough.

Jacob left to his room, which was just across from my own. Although I liked my room, I felt a little bit overwhelmed with the luxuries it came with. The bathroom's floor was made of marble and it had an antique large bathtub but there was also a small, but classy, shower cubicle that was surrounded by blurred glass. The toilet didn't look like a toilet and the sink almost looked like a bird bath.

My bed was king sized and it seemed as though I could get lost in there--especially since I'm very petite! Nevertheless I lied on my plush bed, thinking about everything that was happening to me and that had happened.

I had but small time to recollect my thoughts and myself. Jacob had already notified the producers of my arrival, and he had already assigned my aria with which I would audition. “Si, Mi chiamano Mimi.” was the aria he had given me. I’ve sung it before in concerts so I was quite familiar with it, though I’ve never sang the whole from the opera itself.

The opera, La Boheme, is about two people, a man and woman, who find love at first sight. They grow madly in love, regardless of the terrible times the economy in their society was going through, they were both poor, but love made them forget their financial instabilities. However, Mimi kept growing more and more sicklier, she had tuberculosis, and at that time—she had no money for medicine or even a doctor. Rodolfo, her beloved, noticed her weak state and it was killing him inside because he couldn't do anything about it, he was only a poor poet, he had nothing that could help her recover from her disease. But Mimi didn’t want to trouble him anymore, so she decided to part ways with Rodolfo. In the end, she was at her last stage, she wanted to see Rodolfo again more than anything—Rodolfo sat with Mimi in her last few moments of life, until then, she died.

It’s a very tragic opera, but then again, all Italian operas are tragic, especially operas written by Puccini.

I spent the rest of the day napping; I needed to recover from my jet lag. But Jacob had made an appointment for me with a pianist at night to practice for the audition. I had only but a few hours to review my aria, I cursed under my breath as I got up from my bed and went over my belongings looking for my music score; there was nothing I wanted more than to just be a vegetable lying on the bed for the rest of the day. But it's like my teacher also told me, "While you take a break for a few hours, another soprano will have already learned a whole role of an opera." And it was true, in this world, especially if you were a soprano, it was extremely competitive. It's not just about having a big voice or small one, but it's also about speed; whoever learns a role quickly and correctly is already one step away from getting the contract with an opera house.

Afterwards, I began to practice in sotto voce, I didn’t want to sing in full voice because I feared that I would disturb my neighbors. But then I remembered that I hadn’t called my mother since I got here hours ago and she must've been worried.
I picked up my phone and dialed her number.

The phone rang, “Hello?” I heard her answer. “It’s me, I’m in Graz.” I said. “I’m glad dear," she said hesitantly, "but please…just don’t push yourself too hard.” she said, worry filled her tone. I sighed, she was right to worry. What I was doing was very reckless on my part since I had only just buried my husband--though not physically, I had done it mentally. I had just recently accepted that he was dead, and yet here I am going out of my way to learn a role.
“I know, but I need this. It will distract me from...” I couldn’t even say it. She picked up where I left off, “I know. I wish you all the best honey.” I smiled, were it not for my mother's understanding and comfort; I would've probably gone insane.
“Thanks, I love you.” She answered, “I love you too.”

It was time for the practice and Jacob called. “His name is Mordecai Kenton.” He referred to the pianist, “I left you the address of his studio with the hotel’s desk clerk in the foyer. Don’t be late, he's already doing us enough favors as it is by taking you in on such short notice.”
I hung up, picke up my music and locked the door behind me. The desk clerk gave me the address of the pianist; he had already called me a cab.

"Wohin gehst du vermisst?" the cab driver asked and I had no idea what he had said. He was speaking German, and I didn't speak the language fluently at all. "Umm..." I muttered nervously, "Uh, take me to uh," I looked at the address written on the paper but it too was in German. Beautiful.
"Ich habe nicht den ganzen Tag." said the driver with an annoyed tone. I kept getting more and more anxious as I tried to find ways to communicate myself, "Umm...Ich...wollen...uh, damn it!" I said but then an idea had occurred to me. I mentally slapped myself, why didn't I think of this before? I just gave the address sheet to the driver and he got the message. Without further delay, we were off. I sat back and sighed in relief, I was afraid that this wouldn't have got me anywhere.
The drive seemed rather long and so, again, I drifted off into sleep and I prayed that I had no dreams with Michael.
♠ ♠ ♠
Wohin gehst du vermisst?=Where are you going miss?
Ich habe nict den ganzen= I haven't got all day.