On Thursday I arrived in port in the beautiful city of Astoria,OR. I'd never been, so I didn't really know what to expect. I was also very nervous because the majority of my music for the operatic scenes program I'm going to be in was not memorized...I was operating on faith and Red Bull.
When the girls and I (the lovely Teaira and Sammy) arrived for an overnight stay in Baker, OR, we all began discussing how we all feel we can live without meat. Teaira and Sammy both said that they mostly eat chicken, but I discussed with them my recent woes of not being able to eat any type of meat without getting sick...(its an odd recent occurrence,and it doesn't happen all the time, I still haven't pinpointed what types of meat or cooking method cause it...anyway moving right along) Hence, the vegetarian pact was born.
We all decided to be vegetarians for our entire sojourn here in Astoria. We wanted to see if we felt a difference in our energy levels, if we stopped having random migraines, etc... So far, we've been doing pretty good. We did give Sammy one out so she could try some of Astoria's famous clam chowder when we got there, and also for the seafood dinner that our voice teacher Ms.Lane was dying to take us out for. (I tried to explain to her that I'm not much of a fish fan, but she told me that Astoria just might change my mind....I relented and agreed to seafood dinner night)
So far the pact is going pretty well. Sammy had her clam chowder at a very expensive fancy restaurant called the Baked Alaska (I ordered an appetizer made completely of onions and cheese, they were sauteed and baked, don't get your panties in a bunch, this is about trying to be healthy after all.) and seafood dinner night has come and gone.
Astoria also is not what any of us were expecting. There are lots of hills...now when I say hills I'm not talking about the small annoyances of Pocatello that roll up and down when people are trying to run the half marathon...I am talking San Fransisco GIANT, STEEP rolling hills...everywhere! The houses are built a la Aztec style on flattened hill tops...and we get to walk...yes WALK everywhere!
Our vegetarian pact has now become the Astoria diet...I can say that last night while I was in the bathtub I noticed that my little "pooch" at my midsection (as I lovingly call it) is starting to sit a little flatter. I haven't noticed much change with how my clothes fit, but then again, its only been a week...can you imagine how hot I'm going to be after 3 weeks...its going to be pretty spectacular.
I did make the mistake of telling one friend that I had decided to be a vegetarian for 3 weeks, and now they are all worried about my health. Let me assure you dear readers that I am making sure I get plenty of protein. I had my first Gardenburger at a cafe called the Wet Dog Brewery when we got into town on Thursday, and yesterday I tried a black bean burger....and my sojourn into tofu, a tofu teriyaki bowl went a little like this....
Okay, when I think tofu in a meal, I think of the way they do it in Idaho. If you're eating chinese and order tofu instead of meat, generally they bring you a plate or bowl with a few schmeckles (yes I am using a yiddish term, that just happened!) of tofu, tons of veggies and some rice or noodles mixed in depending on what suits your fancy. Apparently at Tokyo Teriyaki in Astoria, OR, they either don't have many customers that order tofu that often, or the chef looked out of the kitchen, saw my beauty and wanted to impress me with his tofu preparation skills, because when I got my tofu teriyaki bowl it was a mound of overflowing teriyaki through which I had to dig for about 6 pieces of vegetables and maybe a half a cup of rice....the tofu wasn't too bad, had the consistency of a donut, but there was so so much of it...let's just say I've definitely decided that I wouldn't mind a tofu teriyaki bowl again, but I would prefer if the cook didn't fall in love with me from the distance....(I guess I just have that effect on people...)
Yesterday was our first Masterclass with opera great Richard Zeller. Sammy got to sing for him. I was proud of girlfriend...she sang a high C# at 9:30 in the morning. (Silver Aria, Ballad of Baby Doe...youtube people! Youtube! Its pretty much amazing) Richard Zeller bowed to her and her impressive early in the morning high note singing skills. We made a new friend named Cecily she goes to the Boston Music Conservatory, she is 19 and cute as a button. She told us that while we was taking notes she tried to find a dessert that could describe the sounds of the voices she was hearing. She told Sammy she was a lovely berry tart with delicious custard on the bottom.
I get to sing for Richard Zeller today...I'm slightly dying and nervous...no wait...I will try to Teaira method...I'm excited! I'm excited! (its the same type of energy!) I will be singing Ebben? ne andro lontana from a little opera called La Wally...you probably haven't heard of it, but that's okay. (go to youtube and find a recording of Callas singing it...its pretty much spectacular although the Gheorgiu recording which is more recent is also stunning)
I am in an opera scene that is being directed by actor Harry Danner, he is Blythe Danner's brother and Gwyneth Paltrow's uncle...and he loves me! I will never forget when I opened my mouth to sing the first day of staging, his head shot to look at me faster than Robinhood's arrow. He then asked me about my future plans after rehearsal and continues to talk to me (and very few other people) Yesterday, after waiting and waiting and waiting( they were fixing the staging) I finally got to sing my two measures of recitative before the quartet starts. I sang it, he looked at me, smiled and said, "Perfect, you can go home now." We all giggled and got back to work.
His wife Dorothy Danner is directing other scenes, for her I have an non vocal role as one of the witch's mean cats in Hansel and Gretel. Dorothy has been in over 800 runs of different Broadway shows as an actress and dancer, including the original Once Upon a Mattress starring Carol Burnett. Can we just acknowledge the fact that she has also directed Kristen Chenoweth? We all keep joking that we now have touched Kristen Chenoweth and Gwyneth Paltrow in a round about way because Dorothy and Harry have all touched us, either by shaking hands or by accident... Come to think of it that means I have also been touched by Carol Burnett in a round about way, excuse me while I do a happy dance...I thought about never showering again, but I also don't like smelling like a foot....so my fear of smelling like a foot has won out, and I continue to shower.
Well, I'm off into the wild blue yonder. I will keep you updated as the days and weeks progress. I will even post some pictures when I have more time.
No moral today kiddies...go about your business!
Hugs and Loves until next time.