Ballo 2

arf-updatedleadwide-masked--20130117160129548039-620x349Tonight (Thurs)  to the Masked Ball again.  Photo: Prudence Upton

This was a spur-of-the-moment decision taken on Wednesday when I noticed a front point seat in a loge was available.  That was $72: I cycled to Opera Australia specially to buy it without incurring a booking fee.  I loathe booking fees: they are insulting.

On the way in to my seat I saw Lyndon Terracini button-hole a vaguely familiar looking young man . It was only later (when composing this) that I realized I recognized him from his relatively minor role in last year’s production of Lucia.  LT was looking rather pleased with himself, as well he might, having just been reappointed for a further 5 years.  I have mixed feelings.

I chatted to a regular, also there for the second time.  He hated the production but was keen on the singing, which he described as the best since Grimes.  He had also been up in the loge for the first night.  I was able to put him in the picture about a crucial detail of the (meta-plot; konzeptorial) conclusion which is right at the back of the stage and not visible from the loge.  He thanked me for this, saying that otherwise he would have gone to New York next week without knowing.  That was probably sarcasm.  He has tickets, he told me, for nine Met performances.

At the end, the audience gave vociferous applause.  The fellow behind me whistled repeatedly and incredibly loudly.  An older, I would guess gay, couple glanced at him disapprovingly and I felt rather the same.  It did seem a very indiscriminate form of applause.  I would have been more impressed if he had been capable of covering his mouth when he coughed, about half a dozen times, in the course of the second half.  I wasn’t so surprised to hear, as he talked to his companions on the way out, that he sounded American.  Their applause etiquette is more enthusiastic than ours – I think it’s a kind of civility akin to “have a nice day.”

I found myself more moved by the love story this time, though a former lecturer of mine whom I spoke with afterwards on the way to the station and then on the train thought it was awful and a poor fit to the libretto.  Maybe he was also offended by the even greater disrespect to the historical events than the libretto already shows.  We joked a bit about his definitive history of the treaty of Utrecht which never got around to being written.

One thing I notice when I go to a production more than once is that quite often musical things which are not quite right once are still not quite right when you go again.  It could be that the repetition is in my observation and opinion as much as in the performance.  I’m thinking of little slips in ensemble and execution, or at least as they seem to me.  Of course, once I’ve spotted them, I’ll be looking out for them again, which is probably a self-confirming process not to say self-validating.

4 Responses to “Ballo 2”

  1. wanderer Says:

    LT always looks rather pleased with himself. Smug actually.

  2. marcellous Says:

    “Smug”‘s a bit tough, W, or do I just mean value-laden? Self-satisfied? Self-confident? I guess it becomes “smug” if you aren’t happy about what somebody is saying or doing and they are.

  3. wanderer Says:

    For me, smug is a shift to the right of self-satisfaction toward superiority and not about the ‘what’ but the ‘how’ of saying/doing.

  4. Ballo 5 | Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] really well, which is not always the case with recordings of things which one has enjoyed live (1, 2, 3 & […]

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