Thursday, April 24, 2008


Well, today was actually just a regular day. I've been here for about a week and a half now, and finally today nothing funny or weird happened to me. In rehearsal we staged my character's second aria (I use the proverbial "we", but of course, I still mean "they") and while there is no more lying on the ground, there are some serious homo-erotic themes being explored in this aria. If you don't know the plot of this opera: it's about this very clement king, who forgives my character, even though I try to murder him (because the woman I'm in love with tells me to - she's mad because she thinks he should have made her queen and didn't). But it is very curious why Tito seems to love Sesto so much that he says "well, I know you tried to kill me, but hey, that's okay, I forgive you", and Graham Vick's take on this is that there's some love going on between those two. Plus since I'm a woman playing a man, it leads to all kinds of confusion and general ambiguity. At one point I overheard Graham, when he wandered over to the set designer, say "well, I've really done it, haven't I" referring to how he just went for the kind of love scene between these two "men." I like it. I think it works. And yesterday at my wig fitting, when I tried on this lovely little young man blond hair, all the gay men were in a dither over it, so it should add something androgynously beguiling to the proceedings.

In the theater there is a cafeteria, or "cambusa" where everyone goes to eat lunch. It's funny - I don't have any idea why we have 2 hours for lunch when we only have to go down the hall and grab food from the buffet style cafeteria - it really doesn't take that long. But it's been fun to eat in the cambusa because I like noticing the differences between an italian cafeteria and an american one. First of all, there is no soda to be found anywhere. No coke, no diet coke, no sprite - just bottled water, flat and sparkling, and cute little boxes of wine. I haven't noticed any of the singers drinking wine at lunch, but I guess I wouldn't be surprised. Also, they all drink their water from these tiny glasses. Tiny glasses are a thing in Italy, they are in all the restaurants and stocked in my kitchen as well. The first day I had lunch in the cafeteria, I had my water bottle from rehearsal with me, so I figured I would just drink that. But after a couple of minutes, I discovered that everybody was pouring their water from the bottles into these tiny little glasses they had obviously taken along with their knives and forks. It seemed so dignified and classy, as they all poured their big bottles little by little into these tiny little glasses and sipped their water daintily. I meanwhile, was slurping away at my oversized bottle like the american heathen that I am, and by the time I realized my error, we were almost finished. Now, I try to remember to take a little glass even if I have my own water with me, and I take little italian sips so that I'll fit right in. 

 I didn't eat any gelato today, but it's only 10:30 and I think Grom might be open until midnight. My question is this: Why the hell did americans invent ice cream when gelato already existed? What's the point of taking something that's already perfect and trying to change it into something else? If you look up the word "ice cream" in an english to italian dictionary, the translation is "gelato". Don't hate me Mr. Baskin and Mr. Robbins, but you totally suck when compared to the real deal. 

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