Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas gifts

So, leute, great news! I got my first opera job in Berlin!! I will sing the role of Violetta in a very modern/experimental version of La Traviata at the Neuköln Oper. And there will be three Violettas...the director is thinking something to do with multiple personalities maybe...we'll see! I will sing the second act. I am very excited. The director is very young and very passionate about the project so that is great. Sometimes those are the best shows, lots of heart is always important. It won't be a high paying gig-in fact, there is a chance we might not get paid at all. They are trying to raise money for the show. But honestly, I am not too worried about that right now. It is a great start and I think it will open a lot of doors. It will be something I can invite agents to possibly and it will just be great to be involved in something and performing again. The conductor is Italian so that will help with the language too-so glad we aren't doing it in German! I couldn't imagine singing Verdi in German, even though I know it is done frequently in Deutschland. Rehearsals start in March and first performances will be in April, and hopefully some more in May and June if they can get funding. 
So, YAY!!! That is an amazing gift and I am really looking forward to working on this project. Such an answered prayer.

I have also played a couple more concerts of my own songs and that has been really fun. I wrote 8 new songs this month! It is great to have doors opening and inspiration flowing. I am thankful that I am able to do so much music right now. Passion for anything is a great gift. 

Berlin if freeeeezing right now! It is so so cold. I mean not messing around cold...I wear two pairs of leggings under my pants and my huge down coat and two scarves and that poor dead animal on my head and it is still shivery. But there is snow and I love that. That makes it is so pretty. The German word for snow is 'schnee'. So funny! It sounds like some saying from a Monty Python movie...."we are the nights who say schnee"...or something. The fourth pic at the top is me and my friend Anne. She would not be happy if she knew I posted that picture...good thing this blog is a secret blog! She is purposefully trying not to smile. She is really funny. She invited me to spend Christmas with her family in Heidelberg so I will go there on the 23rd and have a real German Christmas. We were all out at a Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) that night. This calls for a bit of explaining. Weihnachtsmarkts are one of the most beautiful German Christmas traditions ever and I really think they should do it in America and...all over the world for that matter. All though, it prob'ly wouldn't be so special then if that were the case. The first photo is of a little hut where they sell Glühwein (hot sweet wine) in one of the markets...literally they have a Weihnachtsmarkt in every little square and it is so charming. They sell little trinkets and really yummy food and they are all decorated with little evergreen and lights and it is so quaint and charming. A couple even have fairs with rides, and little ponds you can iceskate on in the middle of the square. One has a huge man made snow hill just for the couple months that is there and for a euro you can sled down it on an intertube right next to the Deutsche Bank skyscraper. They start going up in early it is a bit more commercialized then it needs to be, but I don't think anyone really minds because they are so nice. Who wouldn't want to have them around as long as possible? It makes the winter more bearable too. These German's are so smart. They know what they are doing. One way to beat winter blues? Hot, sweet wine on every corner. And crepes with nutella. And bratwurst in brot. Yeah. They pretty much know what's up. Wonder what their strategy will be in January. I guess I will find out. If there isn't a collective community strategy, I have a back up plan in two words. Sau-NA. I don't know if I have previously discussed the amazing cultural experience of the sauna in my blog yet, but I another one to come. I could write a book on the joys of sauna-ing here in Deutschland. It is pretty unglaublich. 

The third photo up there is of me and my friend Karin. She is my tandem partner-we meet once a week and exchange German and English lessons and she has become one my best friends here in the city. And the second photo is of me and my small group from church at our Christmas party. I have really grown to love these people in this short time. They have been such a blessing to me. So many things to be thankful for this Christmas. 

Sorry, beloved friends, that I have been so inconsistent with writing on this blog. I will try to be better...I miss you all. Please continue to pray for me. I have been learning a lot of good things...and some hard things about myself that I want to change... but feel like I need some supernatural power in order to really work on that. My visa appointment is on the 29th of this month and hoping for a smooth, easy experience. I started reading an amazing book by John Piper called 'A Hunger for God'. ..totally recommend it to everyone...and if you could, please pray for me that I would continue to develop an ever increasing hunger for Him. When I am really honest, mostly what I hunger for most is gummi bears. Also, please continue to pray for community. I have great friends here but it takes work and time and purpose to really develop that and deep connections are rare wherever we go. Please pray. I also would like to continue to have more motivation and organization in regards to making and setting goals. I seem to just get so easily distracted. Don't we all? And I am juggling pursuing opera and songwriting and also helping out with worship at church...and I would really love to continue to do all of them in a really excellent way. I wish you all joyous Christmas blessings wherever you are! Alles Liebe, 


  1. Jenn,

    I loved reading your blog this morning. Sorry I missed your call last night ~ I was downstairs folding laundry. Urgh!

    Your blog, by the way, is not a secret. I "googled" your name, and because you said your name in one of your blogs, it is now "out there." You might want to consider changing your blog name.

    I can't wait to see you on Sunday.

  2. good to hear more from you. 8 songs?? crazy. hope to chat with you soon. LOVE YOU!

    and congrats on the role!!!

  3. I agree with Beth--congrats on the role and on all the new song-writing! We miss you. Also, for the record, that "poor dead animal" on your head looks adorable on you. And hey--you have family on the way to visit, yes? Have a great time!

  4. Dear Jenn,
    Your mom shared your blog address with me this morning as I drove her to the airport. I've loved reading your recent entries! Keep up the great job. I'm pulling for you as well as praying for you!

  5. Hey! Congrats on the opera gig. I wish I was in Germany so I could go hear you perform. Also, I am totally jealous of your Christmas in Heidelberg with Anna. What a beautiful city!

    I hear what you're saying about the hunger for God. I struggle with the same thing-- and I'll definitely pray for you in this. Lots of love!

  6. I'm glad that you have written again! I'm late! I have been thinking about you so much, though. Yay, for all of your good news.
    And you are so beautiful, you know?
    One more thing...I could totally do a role of multiple personalities...just fyi. :)

  7. So good to hear how you are doing. Happy New Year.

    Peace and joy,