Fire-tongs punch and the four elements.

The past 20th of January I had a singing evening that was organized by our German teacher, we had been working on many things for quite some time, in a way it counts as half of our final exam. We chose pieces within a list of certain poets that our teacher gave us, read them in class, did the phonetical transcription of them as well as small biographies of the aforementioned poets (we were all in charge of two of them). These last things were with the purpose of making a reader for ourselves, probably will also be used by our teacher with future groups of singers. We sang our pieces in class, mine being “Das Veilchen” by Mozart and Mendelssohn’s “Auf Flügeln des Gesanges”. Subsequently, the date of the concert approached.

The lovely team of singers, pianist and German teacher I worked alongside.

The day of the concert I was excited, Iliyan was going to be there! It was the first time he would attend one of my concerts. Since we are in a long distance relationship this is not that hard to believe, there were not that many chances for him to be there in any of my past performances. But today, he would be there.

We went with the tram to the conservatoire because I was already dressed up and ready for the concert, with the bicycle it could be uncomfortable and messy. He helped us out by putting the chairs for the audience, I warmed up my voice and while I was doing that he said he was going out to buy me a little something, I asked what and he said it was a little chocolate, I smiled and continued getting ready for the performance.

The concert’s theme was “The Elements”, so we wore dresses according to them (I was air, in white) and our pieces had to do with at least one of the four elements. We were all nervous and a tiny bit awkward but we managed to sing our lovely pieces and make little by little a typical German drink called Feuerzangenbowle (literally translated it means “fire-tongs punch”). Yes, we were making an alcoholic winter drink on stage; every few pieces a couple of singers would recite a stanza from the poem “Vier Elemente” by F. von Schiller and then proceed to our task: put in the oranges and lemons or place the sugar on top of the chalice so later another singer would pour rum over it and light it up. It seemed like we were making spells.

On the right you can see the table with the fire-tongs punch and in the center a lost cloud fairy singing to her love.

I looked towards Iliyan most of the time, a classmate and friend of mine even mentioned it at the end of the concert, he congratulated me and “accused” me of looking at him all the time, of course I denied poorly and blushed heavily. Looking at him eased my heart and helped me sing freely, it was like magic, I can not explain it even now, I usually can not sing if I look someone in the eyes.

After the clapping and illustrative bowing down, our teacher offered the drink to the listeners, needless to say, most people joined in the idea. But I was far more delighted by what came to happen after this; Iliyan put into my hands the chocolate he had mentioned earlier in the evening, but then unveiled something else as well… flowers! A small pot with tiny red flowers —he even remembered I did not like bouquets because I believe it is a waste of money and cruel for the flowers— “Just like you they are tiny. And red, like your family name.” he said while I was gleaming with happiness. It was very special for me because they were my first flowers as a singer, my very first!

The chocolate and “Kalanchoe” flowering plant gifted to me by Iliyan on the day of the concert.

Conclusively, the evening was wonderful and both myself and Iliyan had a memorable eve. My beloved truly is my motivation, the person to whom I sing to every time I perform.


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