Friday, January 19, 2007

Day 3 Friday, Rehearsal, KaDeWe, the Pergamon, and the Komische Oper

This morning we had rehearsal in the hostel again. I can’t imagine what the other hostel guests think of us. We took up almost half of the common area and blocked most of the pathways between the other half of the common area and the main lobby. A couple people sat around and listened to us for a bit, but I couldn’t tell if that was out of interest or inability to find a way through.

Afterward, the whole group went to KaDeWe, a huge department store not unlike Harrod's. We had lunch in the food halls. I had some smoked salmon, a shrimp-oil-garlic dish and strawberries and whipped cream. Then the orchestra splintered into smaller groups and went our separate ways. My group stayed at KaDeWe for a while, mostly admiring their vast chocolate selection, and then headed off to Museum Island to see the Pergamon Museum. The museum was mostly devoted to ancient Greek and Babylonian artifacts, including a full-sized replica of the altar from the temple of Pergamon. There was also a full-sized model of the Gate of Ishtar from Babylon.

Then the orchestra met up again at the Komische Oper to see Strauss’ comic operetta, Die Fliedermaus. The plot was so convoluted and spoken entirely in German that it was pretty indecipherable, even though I had seen an English version fairly recently. However, the set and music completely made up for that. The set fully rotated and had a three-story working elevator in the middle of the stage.

After eating dinner at an Italian place on Unter den Linden, we came back to the hostel, where we stayed up until all hours playing Apples to Apples and Spoons (with packets of something called Assugrin in place of the silverware). Despite his musical ability, I must report that Steve Miahky is pretty miserable at Spoons.

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