This week music students Quentin, Elliott, Abbie, and Katie talk about their trip to Venice, struggles, and discoveries they’ve made so far.
At the Accademia dell’Arte, I am privileged to work with two Italian instructors. One is Sylvia, who is my Italian teacher, and the other is Marta, who is my coach and accompanist. I wasn’t expecting the language barrier to effect my learning before I got here, but I have come to find that the use of two languages, and sometimes no language at all, creates an environment that allows for a higher level of learning. I have learned so many new vocabulary words, and I have also learned how to communicate without language during my coaching time. Sometimes Marta isn’t able to describe in detail how I should sing a certain phrase, so she demonstrates or uses her hands to indicate artistic expression. Communicating in this way is something that I think is extremely important to any kind of artist. Words are not always the most important aspect of art. At the end of this semester, I envision myself as a more communicative singer, with a strong sense of language and meaning in my work. I chose the Accademia dell’Arte in my pursuit of learning, because I knew that placing myself in a location that was foreign to me would force me to learn in a way that I have never learned before, and learn things that I couldn’t even have imagined before coming here.
Elliott Cihlar, FurmanUniversity
This has been a week primarily focused on travel to Venice for the music students. We had a large, daunting music history test on Wednesday. Though looking back, it was like a trade; we took a test in exchange for a trip to Venice. And our trip was amazing, there were the most amazing sights and sounds in Venice. My only complaint was the water taxis. They were amazing the first time, because of all the sights, but when it’s been a day of 20,000 plus steps, and you’re trying to get back to the train station, standing for fifty minutes is just not what you want to do. However, that was my only complaint! Everything from the 11th century Basilica di San Marco to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of modern art was stunning. We had the pleasure of seeing Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at La Fenice on Thursday night and it was phenomenal. The breath-taking venue and impeccable playing made for a magical night. My only criticism was the slightly minimalistic staging, which began to grow on me by the end. Though tobe frank, the ending had me in tears, so I can’t complain too much. Overall, the trip to Venice was life altering and I would take any test to go back.
Abbie Schlichtmann, Furman University
3 years of anticipation; and now 3 weeks in—
3 years of anticipation,
Built up to a challenging 3 weeks of transition. Everything isnʼt perfect as expected. Everything is different.
There is competition; Your friends are no longer loving,
For their interests are now in mind of their own success.
3 weeks gone.
9 to go.
It will get better. Avoid the drama. Watch the sunset.Experience Arezzo.
Katie Jennison, Furman University
This weekend we went to Venice and it was amazing. It is so cool how we can just hop on the train and be in another historical town in such a gorgeous country. We had some amazing experiences: we went to see Madame Butterfly at one of the most famous opera houses, La Fenice, which was an especially exciting experience for me because I have never seen an opera before. We also went on a gondola ride which, though extremely touristy, is a must if you go to Venice. I would suggest going later on in the day when hopefully most of the tourists have left the island and it is cooler and the sun is setting and one of my favorite experiences so far. We went to the Rialto market and got away from the tourists and saw a little sliver of real Venetian life. We went to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum where they have pieces by Picasso, Pollock, and Warhol. We ate some amazing food, rode on the Vaporetto (the water version of the subway), and experienced some amazing culture! We are so lucky that this is where we live for three months!