This was the second time MCO has come to Australia and being Australian it was really exciting for me!
The Adelaide Festival is the most prestigious arts festival in Australia and considered to be one of the leading festivals in the world. To be one of the major events at the festival is a huge honour.
This was the first time that I was one of the only people to arrive in Adelaide fresh and without jetlag! I’m usually landing early in the morning in Frankfurt and getting on a train to Dortmund in time for a 10 am rehearsal, so this felt like a complete luxury!! Even with the half hour time difference between Sydney and Adelaide… ;)
We had a few days of rehearsal to put together two big programmes: one of Mozart’s symphonies 39, 40 and 41 and one of Schubert 3 and Bruckner 4.
Daniel Harding was back with us after what seemed like too long and it was so nice and familiar to work with him again. He always has new fresh ideas to inspire everyone and it felt like the perfect collaboration.
We had three concerts in Adelaide, and all were received with rave reviews. Both programmes are extremely exhausting to play both physically and mentally so some relaxation in between was definitely needed! People had time to get the tram to the beach at Glenelg for a swim or quite a few drove into the Adelaide Hills to Cleland Wildlife Park to cuddle a koala! I believe some colleagues even went twice to cuddle koalas! Even as an Australian I still can’t get over how cute those animals are!
The festival hosted a wonderful after-party down on the river after our last concert, serving food and wine until the early hours of the morning. We then had a bus at 4:15 in the morning to get us to the airport in time for our flight to Tokyo so most people hadn’t had a lot of sleep.
We then flew via Melbourne to Tokyo, arriving in time for dinner. We all love being in Japan. For me it is still like arriving on another planet! I love the food, the culture and all the weird things you can do there like visiting a cat café, or looking in shops that sell nothing but themed outfits for dogs!!
Omotesando is my favourite area in Tokyo and Sophie and I had a great day wandering around there doing a lot of shopping and then having lunch in a Pompompurin-themed café.