Archive for the ‘Regensburg’ Category

Regensburg Redo

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

TOWN 1: REGENSBURG REDO

I have some info to correct regarding the Regensburg Hurricane Emma monument. I had Bus Driver Ralph read the poster of which I shot a few pictures, and he says it only talks about the destruction that Hurricane Emma caused in the town, including the uprooting of a nearby tree. Its roots were so huge, the people decided to leave them where they were, as a memorial to the event. I remember seeing a large set of decaying roots just behind the poster and wondering what that was all about, but since most everything is leafless and snow covered, the roots didn’t look that much out of place for winter.

The 11 year-old girl I wrote about was killed in the Czech Republic. I still haven’t found her name online. Three people were killed by Hurricane Emma in Germany, all due to car accidents.

I still couldn’t find anything out about the random statue close to the fallen tree roots, but I did find out info about another statue I snapped:

It was too dark to read any writing on the statue’s base, so I just left this pic alone, until, in my research today, I came across a daytime picture that matched mine, and the following info:

Don Juan d’Austria was the illegitimate son of Emperor Charles V and his mistress Barbara Blomberg. Don Juan grew up to be a military hero of Spain.

So there ya go…

TOWN 2: BONN, GERMANY

We drove to Bonn to see our sister show (from the same German promotion company) called “Mother Africa”.

Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located on the Rhine River, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999. Starting in 1998, many national government institutions were moved from Bonn to Berlin. Bonn remains a center of politics and administration, however. Bonn now holds the title of Federal City (“Bundesstadt”). From 1597 to 1794, it was the residence of the Archbishops and Prince-electors of Cologne, and is the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven (born 1770). To date, Bonn’s Roman fort (Castra Bonnensis), built in the 1st century A.D., remains the largest fort of its type known from the ancient world, i.e. a fort built for one full-size Imperial Legion and its auxiliaries.

“Mother Africa” basically fuses traditional African dance/live music with gymnastics/circus performance. It was really fun to watch!

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Here are some of my favorite highlights of the show:

These girls were not only balancing those tables (and other objects) on their feet, but twirling them around, throwing them in the air and catching them, all with their feet!

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This guy rode all sorts of bicycles, with one wheel, three wheels, even a mega-tall unicycle and a pint-sized one approximately 1 foot tall!

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I was really worried about this one…I can’t imagine balancing on all that crazy stuff, then juggling hoops…but I guess somebody’s gotta do it!

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Maybe my favorites, the straight-up balancing gymnists…I wish I could have taken more pix but stage lighting made most of mine blurry…

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Finally, “Mr. Fuzzy Britches”, which is just what I call him. Basically a human pretzel…

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Thank you so much to the cast and crew of “Mother Africa” for giving us a great show!

TOWN 3: MAINZ, GERMANY

The next day was our show in Mainz, Germany. At mic check, Robert, our producer/drummer (DA BOSSMAN!) told me that his daughter, Alyssa, wanted more pictures of her daddy in the newsletters! So Alyssa, the next section is for YOU! Here are ALL the tour pictures I’ve taken with Rob in them:

Rob at the head of the table in Gie├čen…

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Rob behind the drums at Singen, Germay mic check…

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Rob back/right in the Singen kids’ choir photo op…

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Rob surveying the scene during Munich, Germany mic check…

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Did ya find him in all those??? OK, the next ones are better:

Rob on the Nurnberg, Germany party bus…

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The side of Rob’s face to the right on the party bus…

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And finally, the PURPOSEFUL shots I took of Robert to make sure his little girl gets to see him more:)…

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Hellloooooooo Mainz, Germany!!!

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There ya go Alyssa! Hope you like them:)

Now back to our show town…Mainz, located on the Rhine River, is the capital of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is over two thousand years old. The first European books printed, using movable type, were manufactured in Mainz by Gutenberg in the early 1450s.

When I got off the bus, I looked to my left…

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And looked to my right…

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And I decided there would be no walkabout today…not in an industrial complex with trucks ready to run me over! The closest I’ll be getting to covering Mainz today is…

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Woo-hoo! What’s up, Mainz? Good to see ya!

Therefore, this is the day I will document the backstage of “The Ultimate Thriller”! To begin our daily routine, once we’ve arrived at the venue, the crew begins unloading and setting up the stage, the cast starts up the Bus Internet Cafe, then once we get the all-clear to go inside, we grab some breakfast and check out where the dressing rooms are, bathrooms, etc. Below you see the nicely set up costumes for the dancers…

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LaTosha does such a great job with our wardrobe…washing, ironing, repairing…she works very hard!

Here she is with our TUT dryer…

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The dancers have their usual rehearsal around 2. The set is mostly in place and the band starts setting up their gear around 3. Dancers block on stage at 3:30. Mic check between 4 & 4:30. Here’s my mic perspective from Mainz mic check…

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…and here is the normal backstage where we run off to dab our foreheads and take a swig of water before running back on stage…my nest is on the bottom two stair steps:)

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Our spot lights are always set up in different places, depending on the layout of the venue…here’s the spotlight perspective from our Mainz set up…

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Here’s the monitor sound board, always stage left, where Brandy takes care of the mix in our ear buds and stage monitors…

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Backstage are the two wardrobe closets, ready for quick changes during the show…

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Dinner is 2 hours before show. Here’s our Mainz catering area, one of the prettiest we’ve had. I believe they actually set up our craft services in the adjoining theater cafe. Since artificial sweetner is not widely available at catering, I usually sweeten my cereal and coffee with a mixture of brown sugar and cubes of white sugar. That’s a definite change from my American routine! That evening, we had an AMAZING dinner…pasta in a tomato/ginger sauce, baked potatoes, and this gumbo with chicken, cheese, tomatoes…it was all AMAZING! I used my tupperware a lot that night!

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After dinner, I get ready for the show. Here are my Mainz before/after pics…

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It takes me about 45/50 minutes to put it all on…

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We all make it backstage around 15min til show. Below are some of our fabulous techs, Andy, Ingmar, and Mike, working on our lights…it seems there’s ALWAYS something to fix. OR they just like taking it apart and putting it back together for fun! I dunno…

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Show starts, energy is high, then I’m off stage for a break…it’s a bit sweaty…

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Guitarist/Musical Director (and Absent Birthday Boy) Richie joins me in a moment of appreciation for our first-ever “boxed water” experience. It tastes just as good as bottled. Go figure:)

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And I close my presentation with a random sink…just one apparatus of the many strange, unusable, possibly dangerous ones we encounter at most every venue. This is one of my favorites though, placed in my heart next to the cold showers, brown water, sinkless faucets, doorless shower rooms, curtainless dressing room windows, poop-smelling hallways, and hand towels posing as body towels. Ah, the sheer thrill of European touring!!!

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So I encourage you to hug your bathrooms today…I definitely miss mine! Thanks Mainz, for a great show, great audience, and a safe getaway!

Happy Sunday!!!

Love,

~Jenn


Regensburg

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate (east Bavaria). We stayed 4 days in a St. Georg Hotel, about a 40 minute walk outside of the old city. Some of us decided to join Brandy (stage sound lady) in her celebration of being reunited with her brother (both born in Germany, but they hadn’t seen each other since she was 7!) by hitting some night life in downtown Regensburg. We had to wait a while at the bus stop, so some of us kept busy by making a punk snowman.

In the above pic is (left to right) David-video, Narada-dancer/”Night Scout”, Shannon-dance capt./”Bad Boy” Scout, and Travis-dancer/”Fire Fly”. I don’t know what the tenants of this yard would have been thinking if they saw us, but I don’t think we would have gotten this far if they had been home!

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By the way, I don’t take any credit for making this snow man! I just took pictures:)

The group’s 1st stop was at the bar/hookah lounge called “Piratenhohle” or “Pirate Cave”, residing in a cellar that’s almost 800 years old…

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Me being a fan of skulls, I was right at home with the fun pirate motif inside…

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Our fabulous cook, Zap, and his girlfriend, Andrea, live around this area, so they took care of us and even had us meet some of their local friends. They also provided us with three hookahs at the table…I admit I tried one. It was my first time, and the fruity taste was cool! The act of smoking a hookah is pretty comical, but nevertheless, another cool experience to add to the excitement of this tour!

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Tear it up, JB (lighting guy)!

So the gang moved on to a 2nd bar, where apparently we just missed the order-your-food-before-the-kitchen-closes deadline. Now since I’m not drinking on this tour, I had nothing to do but sit there, starving, and try not to grab someone’s cigarette just to ingest SOMETHING!…but luckily some of the trailblazers included me on a trip around the corner to McDonald’s, which didn’t close for another hour. Hallelujah!!! I spent some crazy cash at that place!:)P I would have probably paid 20 Euro for a McFlurry at this point!!! After our group ate, we went back to the bar and had a nice time before the turn-in-early group walked the 40 minute path back to our hotel.

When I, Narada, Shannon, and Travis arrived at the hotel at 2AM, we found the front entrance to be locked. Thus ensued a Zelda-like game of Where’s The Key? and Find The Correct Door! We followed the signs from the front door to the first back door, which led us to the sauna and the suites. But as fate would have it, that elevator wasn’t working, so back out into the snow we went! Finally, we unlocked the back restaurant door and crept quietly up the stairs. Shannon said it felt like we were sneaking back into our parents’ house…it totally did feel like that! An eventful night out and morning sneaking back in!

The next day, Shannon was my walkabout partner back into town…I needed to take pictures in the daylight! We found a platform that was screaming for a statue, so we obliged…

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Here is a statue of Johann Michael Sailer (1751-1832), a Bishop of Regensburg. In 1821, he was appointed cathedral canon of “Ratisbon” (Regensburg), in 1822 auxiliary bishop and coadjutor with right of succession, in 1825 cathedral provost, and in 1829 Bishop of Regensburg.

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You can see the Sailer Chapel in the background. The Sailer Chapel occupies the southern area next to the chancel and is set aside for private prayer. It is named for the tomb of, of course, Johann Michael von Sailer. The chapel was erected by King Ludwig I in 1837 in honor of his former tutor.

Here’s another “ant picture” of me in front of the Dom St. Peter…

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The Regensburg Cathedral (German: Kathedrale St. Peter or Regensburger Dom), dedicated to St Peter, is the bishop’s church and the principal church of the Regensburg diocese. It is also the home of the Regensburger Domspatzen (“cathedral sparrows”), a choir rich in tradition. The structure is considered the most significant Gothic work in southern Germany. Well, it certainly is HUGE! By far the coolest thing we saw in town, besides the McDonalds (just kidding).

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Shannon and I were walking away, after taking a million pictures of the outside, when I spotted a couple exiting out one of the church’s side doors and I said to Shannon, “Wanna go in?”, and he said, “We can?!” Oh, it was ON inside the Dom! The place is huge and COLDER than outside! We could see our breath all through the church…

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I loved this pic of the organ pipes…I was told the organist sits in a tiny balcony next to it, where the little light is shining towards the right of this picture. I can’t imagine the organist being comfortable that close to those powerful pipes without earplugs!

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The Cathedral is also the burial place of important bishops, including Johann Michael von Sailer (1829-1832), Georg Michael Wittmann (1832-1833), and Archbishop Michael Buchberger (1927-1961).

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Next stop is the Jewish synagogue turned Renaissance church, The Neupfarrkirche. The Neupfarrkirche and the surrounding residential place originally belonged to the medieval Jewish citizens of this city. However, the pogroms (murderous riots against the Jewish community) of February 1519 and the subsequent expulsion of the Jews ended the centuries of peaceful and tolerant coexistence of Jewish and Christian populations. The dwellings of the Jews and the ancient Romanesque synagogue were demolished.

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On the grounds of the old synagogue were immediately erected a wooden chapel and a Virgin Mary, to show the triumph of the takeover. The Regensburg city fathers commissioned the architect Hans Hieber from Augsburg to lead the construction of the present-day Neupfarrkirche. The Neupfarrkirche is the most important Renaissance church in the region. It unites medieval style with Gothic elements and several completely new (at the time) Italian architectural styles.

Here’s the theater we would have been performing in last Sunday, but it was cancelled, thus our 6 days off in a row.

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This theater at the Bismarckplatz is 200 years old and is the oldest, largest, and most important theater of Regensburg. Operas, operettas, musicals and ballets are shown. In addition to this, open-air performances are carried out in summer.

Here is an interesting angle of the Old Town Hall. I love the details on the windows of the Imperial Hall, and door to the right. The original town hall’s existence was first recorded in 1244, one year before Regensburg was a free imperial city. It is one of the oldest town halls in southern Germany. The series of complex buildings shows glimpses of the organization of a medieval city council, including a “questioning room” (torture chamber). However this building was destroyed by fire in 1356 almost completely, then rebuilt in 1360. The permanent imperial parliament occupied the hall in 1663, and until 1806 the Town Hall remained the scene for the Holy Roman Empire’s political development.

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Night Scout Narada found this sight for me…David and Goliath painted on the side of a building…random!

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You’d think this painting would have been done in more contemporary times, but as it turns out, the early Gothic Goliathhaus building was built in the first half of the 13th century and documented in 1290 as belonging to the Tundorfer family. It takes its name from the huge painting on the facade of David and Goliath, painted by Melchior Bochsberger around 1570!!!

When we walked home from the bars the night before, I noticed this lonely statue in a big yard, all by itself. Though the picture below is just the back of it, it was the only clear shot I could get, since both times I’d passed it were too late in the evening…so though I couldn’t get a good picture, I felt compelled to delve deeper into it’s significance…

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“Bad Boy” Scout Shannon found more info quickly, on the other side of the park. According to a posted sign, Hurricane Emma swept Central Europe from Feb. 29th to March 2nd, 2008. Apparently, a tree in this cemetery crushed an 11-year-old child who was on a walk with her grandmother. I don’t know if the girl was from Regensburg, but my research can only deduce that where we were standing was the very site the accident happened. I can’t find the girl’s name anywhere online.

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Well, it’s a sad story, and I’m glad we found out more about this intriguing piece, sitting all by itself in a big yard. I don’t know if this is the burial site for the child, but here stands her memorial.

And that was all the excitement I could produce for you from Regensburg. Next stop, and our last 2 days off of the 6…Nurnberg (I guess the English speakers added a syllable to this city’s pronunciation/spelling, but the authentic German is NURNBERG…now you know! There are some AMAZING churches there! You’ll love ‘em:)

Have a wonderful day!!!

~Jenn