March 3rd, 2012 a.m.
I am in Amsterdam now, having enjoyed Schipol Airport (really!), with its museum and innovative layout. I chuckled to myself when I was reminded that outside the United Kingdom, Europeans don’t line up for anything. They swarm and smarm. My camera, case, and all my lenses were inspected – that was a first for me. The views here are spectacular. I had forgotten that Amsterdam is a canal city. It’s magnificent! Its architecture is captivating, and the old city centre is riveting.
I heard surprisingly little Dutch spoken in the city centre – mostly the Queen’s English. There is a flower market, and the Heineken Beer Museum, but also the Rijksmuseum (which stores the Rembrandt Collection) and the Van Gogh Museum. Tomorrow I will see the Amsterdam Opera Studio’s production of Charpentier’sOrphée,and I will do a masterclass with the same singers on Monday. I am also looking forward to meeting up with Nathalie Doucet and her husband Jacob. Many of you will remember Nathalie from two years ago, from when she was coaching singers at the University of Toronto. She is now repetiteur and coach for the Amsterdam Opera Studio.