Meet our Members: Erin Silangil

I first came to Vienna in the winter of 2010, to experience waltzing in one of its many balls, and in the process, met my Austrian husband, Tobias. We had a five year long distance relationship, which culminated in our marriage last September. During my many visits, I fell in love with Vienna (and Schnitzel!) and knew that I wanted to move here if I had the chance. I moved to Vienna at the end of January this year from San Francisco, California, where I was born and raised. I’m overwhelmed with the beauty of this place, the history, the art, the culture - even the guy on the S-bahn who whistles to get everyone on board is exciting to me! Tripping over cobblestones, looking up and seeing a Fiaker, I sometimes have to pinch myself to know I’m not dreaming.

I began learning German a few years ago in anticipation of the move, but speak Wienerisch to me and I’m lost.  I used to work as a nurse specialising in obstetrics and lactation, before turning my full attention to music. Since 2014 I’ve performed as a young artist for OperaWorks and performed with Pocket Opera, Waffle Opera and the San Francisco conservatory of Music Adult Extension Program. In July I will be performing the roles of Susanna from Le Nozze di Figaro and Zerlina from Don Giovanni at the Arezzo Summer Music School and Festival in Italy. I hope to pursue my education here as a classical singer.  

I joined the AWA in February, because I wanted to be a part of a community outside my husband’s circle of friends. My father passed away in January, and isolation was not an option for me. Transitioning into a new life isn’t easy. I knew that by joining the AWA I would meet women who could relate to my experiences, whom I could learn from, and with whom I could do good for the community at large. So far, I’ve really enjoyed the events I’ve attended and meeting you all. Many of you have offered me invaluable life advice and comfort - and I am grateful for that. I love that we’re supporting Frauenhäuser Wien - as a former women’s health nurse, I’m familiar with the painful cycle of abuse and the problems these women face. We are women helping women, and that is a powerful thing.