Friday, June 29, 2012

Italian Post 3

Greetings Readers,

I am writing to you on the eave of the anniversary of my 2nd week here in Novafeltria. I am writing through the generosity of a brilliant and beautiful young soprano from Canada si chiama Terri-Lynn Mitchell, who is letting me use both her internet and computer - both of which are hard to come by these days.

Very cool news, Wednesday of last week 3 of the students, 2 teachers and I were featured on San Marino TV, follow the link:3rd Act Quartet of Boheme on San Marino TV We sang the 3rd act quartet from Boheme which was followed by an interview with the 2 hosts of Terrazza Kursaal. I am the last to speak, please enjoy.

The program has been a blast.

Besides daily rehearsals for Boheme, which - besides Italian class - take up most of my time during the week, I have been taking voice lessons with John Dehaan from Minnesota, I had a lesson with Dr. Robert Breault and Geoffry Price and several coachings with Ubaldo Fabbri (who you will see on the video). The information and perspectives are fun and supportive - everyone is very encouraging. Mr. Price was so sweet, he came up to me after the lesson and asked if he could play the Petrarch Sonnets by Liszt with me. He continued to explain that he really enjoyed making music with me, and among the talented students in this group he would really like to collaborate with me. WOW!

The food, of course the food is amazing!!!
Grocery shopping and being around town has been so touching and heartwarming, the towns people really take well to us. They love that I speak Italian and sometimes go a little to fast for me - but the woman at the register gave me a great Spaghetti alle Vongole ;-)

The only reservation I have on this trip are the SCORPIONI!! I have had to kill 5 scorpions in 2 weeks... more on that later.

Last Sunday Addie Hamilton and I hiked up to the top of Maioletto, the mountain seen in the photos below. It took us 2 hours on foot, though we did get side tracked. A sweet and friendly Italian man named Paolo - who I had seen at the Cento Catini festival - offered us a ride to the correct path... it was so portentous that I was compelled to recite the first line from Dante's first Canto from La Divina Commedia:
Nel Mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
che' la diritta via era smarrita.

 I have been using Terri-Lynn's computer for a while now - I should go.

More soon!
Boheme goes up next week :-)!!! Time in flying!!

Take care!!!
Thank you

Some Photos for your enjoyment to come...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Post 2 from Italy

Greeting Readers,

My first week anniversary as Rodolfo in Novafeltria, Italy has come and gone.  It has been an absolutely wonderful adventure thus far.

Tonight was the celebration of Cento Catini - a city wide festival in which the town celebrates pagan traditions dating back to the druids. It felt like an Italian Halloween: witches, candles burning, hay bales. They set fire to their ancient fountain and a live band played Celtic music... or what seemed to be Celtic music... They reenacted scenes of the cento catini tradition: virgins setting flowers afloat in the blazing fountain, a ballet and a religious procession. [pictures to come] It is a solstice celebration as well as the night of San Giovanni

Since this is my first true update I'll try to give you as many details as possible, but be prepared: you have many! MANY photos coming your way.

The flight to Frankfurt from JFK was smooth, the Germans were very particular. We left 30 min late, arrived 30 behind schedule. I have never received more sorrowful apologies from a flight crew in my life - I made my connection with no problem. The Frankfurt air port inspired me to set my sights on Germany. The people, the efficiency, the SAUSAGE AND BEER:
 They have these awesome venders in front of each gate:
Pretzels, beer, sausages and happy German employees!
Lufthansa really did a great job, their complimentary coffee and news papers were so welcoming. If you have flown recently and have been charged through the roof for food, drinks, pillows, luggage or anything else - I think you'll understand what exactly I mean when I say the coffee was refreshing!
I arrived to a crowd of exhausted and sedate La Musica Lirica participants, i corsisti as I like to refer to them. Many had arrived hours earlier ( I arrived shortly after 9:30 am Sat morning) and we waited until about half past three to head out on our 4 hour pullman (bus) ride to Novafeltria - WHERE We were greeted with a delicious aperativo!!

I plan to set up a link to the photos of this first week (and the following weeks) so that you see all the photos that are not accompanied by these brief interjections. Pounds and pounds of pizzas and pastas, drinks and then the mayor, the head of the music department Ubaldo Fabbri - the translator and our fearless leader Brigida officially greeted i corsisti.
  Now lets get to the good stuff... my awesome 3 floor house, the view and the opera theatre.

I am living with a Canadian Baritone Mike singing Bartolo - James a tenor at Drake University - and Jack a baritone studying in Wisconsin from Atlanta. There are a tone for students and wonderful faculty - I am having a great time!!

Here are some more photos:

And with that photo - I am off to bed. We are planning to hike that mountain tomorrow :-)!!!

More photos and more updates soon, the internet is becoming slowly more available - and I am making lots of friends!!!!!

With love and happiness - gratitude and smiles

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

first from italy

Hello readers,

greetings from Italy.

I am sorry for the delay, I arrived safely on Saturday.
There is much to tell all of you and I have taken many photos to share...

Internet is hard to come by in Novafeltria, I am currently borrowing Dario's computer.

This a beautiful little town, the program so far is very exciting...

more details soon

horraaaayyy for Boheme and Italian classes, Maestro Rescigno and Maestro Fabbri!!!!!!!

will write soon


(my apologies for the  spelling errors, Italian keyboards are very different)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Three Day Remaining


I apologize for my reticence, though. . .  as of yet there is not much more than the count down to share with you all.

I left Athens on the 3rd, I flew into New York and was immediately submergered in that unique sensation one gets when they feel home. It is difficulty to explain - others tell me how overwhelming the flow of traffic feels and how arresting is the volume of things to do - people - buildings. . . and the list goes on. As I explained in an earlier post, these things bring me inexplicable comfort.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Queens. I lived there in Queens, where my family still abides, until I left for college. I returned home and either took the train or drove to the city several times a year - I still had the best of friends living in the city. The commute was only 45 min from Purchase College in westchester NY - my Alma Mahler [music joke] - I never felt removed or distant from my youth.

In 2009 I left it all.

I started the masters program at UGA, 900 miles away from my sweet and dedicated girlfriend - my family - my friends - my home. The rest is more or less history. In fact what took place over the next 3 years were the necessary steps to putting me here - right here at the foot hills of a music career. Turbulent and tumultuous, far from home I found a community of friends and music lovers, instructors and musical institutions who believe in what I am capable of. I fell into a nest, rich in opportunity and of teeming support.

It is three days and counting before I am off - Lufthansa to Frankfurt to Rome and Rome by bus to Novafeltria where I'll be living for the next 5 weeks.

Great news to share - Salina (the dedicated and loving girlfriend that I mentioned) has gifted me a digital camera!!! So you are guaranteed several hundred photos to make you feel like you're right there with me!

- Since this is my blog and it is still several days before I leave the following is a little explosion of memories and thoughts, of no particular or far reaching impact or interest:

The gift of a digital camera is one that is important to me. Though the ultimate worth of this reflection has no far reaching impact, it does have extraodinary meaning to me. My father is a photographer My Father, William Brent not only did he teach me many things about that art, he encouraged me to pursue it. I spent 2 semesters with my father's Pentax Honeywell 35 mm working as an intern with the International Center for Photography in mid-town New York. I was in the dark room learning to develop film and the techniques/tricks like burning and dodging.  I was excited to find out after 9 months as an intern several of my photos were shown in a gallery downtown Manhattan. This was, as I am sure you can tell, a rich and beautiful experience. Several months after my internship ended my parents gifted me a digital camera - after all film is expensive, cameras are delicate and I had already been educated in the art. I mistakenly left this camera at school after a performance - in a locked room, 8 years ago. It is among some of the most regretable misplacements of generous gifts I have ever lost... my baseball mitt... the komboloi cole gave me... my catchers helmut and mask... thist goes on, and maybe someday I'll find them. I never found the camera, noone ever returned it... 8 years laters Salina offers me this Lumix 14 megapixel digital camera - I am over joyed!

Until next time readers,
Thank you

Friday, June 8, 2012



I am officially home in New York; how remarkeably comforting it is to be home. New York City, its citzens and vistors, buildings and sky bring me so much comfort.

I leave for Rome on the 14th!

It has come to my attention that commenting on these posts has proven to be a challange... I have adjusted the setting - please leave a comment to let me know that all is well!

More soon!

as they say:

Stammi bene!