With the first concert ahead this evening, last night was the last free evening for the OAE players in the Goebbels concerts.  After an afternoon of rehearsing contemporary music (which I’m sure you are aware is not the OAE’s usual style…) a few of us decided to head to the cinema for a bit of a change of culture.  You may be thinking that going to the cinema was something you could easily do at home in the UK, but actually it gave me a whole new Minnesotan experience!

As there are no cinemas in the St Paul area, we took a cab out to Roseville to the Rosedale Center. It’s a huge shopping Mall, with restaurants and a cinema – rather like the out-of-town centres we have in the UK.  The cab ride itself was slightly hairy, lots of icy roads meant it was difficult to relax in the cab – I was so worried we’d skid off the freeway (I am totally getting the American lingo now)  The cab driver was really friendly and we enjoyed a bit of banter.  I’m quickly realising our UK accents are very difficult to understand!

We decided to see Slumdog Millionaire due to its recent success at the Golden Globes, but before that went for a quick bite to eat.  After choosing our ‘booth’ we were waited on hand and foot by Kelly our waitress.  In fact I’m not sure more than 5 minutes passed without a member of staff asking if we were OK.  They were all excited to talk to us with our ‘English accents’ and to hear about our forthcoming concerts at the Festival.  I think the UK service industry could learn a thing or two about being jolly and friendly!  What a great experience.  We even were treated to a rendition of Voi che Sapete by a singer, employed by the restaurant to entertain the staff!  I think the restaurant was called Macaroni Grill or something?  Cheap and cheerful Italian!

The film was a little harrowing, but I very much enjoyed it and got so emerged in the story that I completely forgot where we were!  I also had the best nights sleep last night – the experience must have totally exhausted me!

When we arrived back to the hotel after another slightly nail biting journey (I definitely watched too much of the traffic news this morning I think…) we thought we’d give the liquid test a try.  Sorry to disappoint but after throwing most of my bottle of water into the air I can report that it did not turn into vapour after all.  Perhaps it was the wrong sort of water (that’s a very British response!)

I’m very much looking forward to the concert this evening, and I do hope all the locals are prepared to brave the cold in order to come and listen to us at the Ordway Center!

Ceri Jones, Projects Manager

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