Così 3

Tonight again courtesy of my friend who is in it to Opera Australia’s Così fan Tutte.

My seat was a little further back than the last time, and it seems the attendance is improving. Then again, it may just be the loyal Tuesday subscription audience, an audience that, my taxi-driving-opera-following friend Sk maintains, is particularly devoted to the form.

On the way into the Gents at interval I said “Hullo, Peter” to PS, a longterm Quadrantine (I try not to hold that against him) and my English I tutor [31 years ago], as he was on his way out. That’s my tutor for Literature – amazing! We had another tutor for “Language”, and that is another story, but I bet they don’t have 2 tutorials a week in English I these days. PS was a bit nonplussed – I have the same problem as a former teacher occasionally greeted by ex-students/pupils, though I am sure he has more. I didn’t like to tell him that I gave the last of his novels in my possession to 2MBSFM a couple of years ago, though authors surely have to grow accustomed to this.

After interval, tiring of the constricted sound from our miserable orchestra pit, I moved to the front row. I encountered a strangely uptight neighbour, who had stowed all her (numerous) possessions on and under the empty seat. When I expressed a desire to sit in it, she asked to see my ticket! (Ironical, given that my ticket was for a considerably more expensive seat, albeit discounted. I am astounded that I nevertheless showed it to her.) I assured her that I would be able to move if the rightful owner [actually: for lawyers, licensee: the distinction has some fascinating consequences] arrived. She made some remark about not disrupting the performance if that person arrived. I was (inwardly) confident nobody would, as proved to be the case. Things were a bit frosty between us after that. I wish I could have done more to annoy her, though probably I had done enough.

There is a point, probably when you have gone to a third performance, when you risk becoming a bore about the details of a production (as opposed to about the people you sat next to). Are they details which you simply missed before, or is a little coarse acting creeping in? I thought a little finger-wagging by Fiordiligi/Rachelle Durkin on the first occasion Henry Choo assayed her breasts (a reprise of the “yes/no” moment in La ci darem da mano) fell into the latter category. In other notes: RD handled the lower-register moments (which are the very difficult and exposed parts) better than before.

The principals were trying on their microphones for size and technical difficulties in anticipation of the broadcast on ABC2 next week.

I found myself moved to tears in Ferrando’s aria where, though he feels betrayed by Dorabella, he declares he still loves her. (At least, that’s the way it goes in the present translation.) I don’t really know why.

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