Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

Bohemian Adventure

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Saw Bohemian Adventure with the Sydney Symphony tonight.  Rather good, though the Mozart piano concerto, with pianist Jonathan Biss, was dreadful, mainly because Biss’ manner was utterly distracting, including, but not limited to, mouthing ‘pom pom pom pom’ along with the music, and flinging his hand overdramatically into the air at the end of certain phrases.  Usually I’m entirely nonplussed by any weirdness from a musician, but Biss got to me.

There was an old man behind us talking to this young asian man – monologuing towards him, basically – and it was only at the end, when I heard him say, “my name is John”, that I realised that they didn’t know each other.  Talking about it later on, I was informed that the younger one was studying music.  What made me notice the conversation was that the old man was talking about The Flying Dutchman last week, and only allowed – from what I heard – that the “Estonian singer” was good, with everything else being rather lacklustre.  The “cellos were completely off in their phrasing”, the soprano “was sharp and flat through most of the night”, the bass-baritone Eric Owens was “accurate but feeble”, and so on, and so on.  The crowning phrase being “it wasn’t Wagner“.

I thought the Wagner was rather brilliant, so obviously he’s an idiot.  (I say ‘idiot’ ironically, because he would say the same of me unironically, I’m guessing, and I don’t wish to be the same as him.)  And thankfully the SMH critic agrees with me.  The old man thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s concert, however, and even thought the Mozart was brilliant.  “It’s such a privilege to be here.”  Apparently he was going to try and see it again tomorrow.

Baron de Charlus popped into my head, though I don’t think he was gay, nor did he necessarily have good taste.  But there was the pomposity there combined with the unfailing sense of being right in whatever he says.

Saw another man that I see at the opera opening nights who surely must swing that way or I’m not the observer of human nature that I hope I am.  He has a cane, grey hair, and, while I obviously don’t spend much time staring at his face, I’m fairly sure he probably wears some sort of mascara or makeup or something.  (One knows nothing of makeup.)  He’s no specimen of Adonishood – far too old for that, anyway – but there’s something preened about him.  Anyway, he stands out at the opening night, and I’m in the habit of imagining the backstories of people who stand out.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him at the symphony before.  I imagine he’s either rich (and hence a patron), or was once connected to Opera Australia in some very significant way, or a personal friend of someone high up in the company.  (As opposed to a non-personal friend, apparently…)

In the choir seats behind the orchestra was sat a rather mature woman, who has to be one of the classiest older women I’ve seen.  When I first saw her, a while back, she looked to be the wife of a media mogul.  (I’ve no idea why I thought ‘media mogul’, mind you.)  She has this hairstyle of white hair that’s always perfectly in place, and, while she doesn’t wear a dress per se, she’s always dressed extremely sharply.  She certainly has a presence (I expect she was a great beauty, perhaps, when she was younger), and I often notice her at the opera openings too.  I think – though I cannot be sure – that she has a favourite seat in the front row to the side a bit, although I may have seen her in it twice and made too many assumptions afterwards.  Anyway, she was sitting in the choir seats – the cheap seats, basically – and I was rather intrigued as to why she was there.  Was it sold out and those were the only seats left?  No.  Did she prefer to sit there?  Maybe.  She looks like she’s rich – indeed, if I had to give an example of taste and class due to money, I would list her.  So she should’ve been able to afford better seats.

After the interval, she was sitting in the stalls, though not quite in premium, but probably in A reserve.  That is, her and her husband (I assume – though I’ve never seen her with a man before) had changed seats.  I think, as the pianist and piano was sat centre stage pointing to the stalls, the best view of hands-on-the-keys was from the choir seats, so maybe she bought two lots of tickets, or maybe she’s a high-patron of some sort, and has free range of seats, or who knows, who knows, who knows!  Ah, I want to know, I want to know!  Who are these people?

If I wasn’t convinced at how rude and unconventional it would be to go up to them and say, “are you important, and if so, why?”, I’d do it.  I’d do it, damn it.  Damn it all!


Written by epistemysics

July 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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