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Suppose I ought to mention the trip to the symphony this weekend, especially given the price of the tickets.

It was . . . different from my previous symphony experience. A very different crowd. I felt sympathy for the few regular symphony patrons who may have been feeling some resentment at the lowbrows filing in, fully conscious that this is helping keep the symphony from financial difficulty, and tolerating it because of that. Or maybe they felt grateful that more people were going to the symphony regardless of the reason.

I had worried prior to the show that I was underdressed in my lavender linen suit, but I needn't have been concerned, given the jeans, etc. I saw. And yes,there were a few folks in Elvish costume.

I mostly enjoyed it, but the show did have some issues, and I have to say, being honest, had I known what it would be when I bought the tickets, I probably would have thought twice about purchasing them. The show seems to be a traveling event, pulling local talent in each city to perform the work. The Gwinnett Children's Chorus, for example, was present, and some church choir, big fish in a little pond, Celine Dion wannabe called Sisser (no last name) was the adult female soloist performing "Into the West." Okay, she wasn't that bad, but it always bugs me when singers try to put their own spin on material that they're supposed to be rendering in a faithful fashion. I mean, if the orchestra musicians have to play the notes they're given in order to deliver an accurate facsimile of the work, then singers should have to try to reproduce the original as best they can.

Also, the boy soprano was terrible. I'm sorry, but he was. As David said, why don't they just hire and take a member of the Vienna Boys Choir around with them, rather than trying to find a local? I mean, the South isn't exactly known for encouraging their young males to become boy sopranos. :/

Even the symphony itself had a few missteps. The whole thing seemed to need a bit more time in rehearsal.

On the bright side, at the end, they brought out Alan Lee, which was kind of neat and unexpected. They had two screens on either side of the stage displaying his sketches and drawings for the Lord of the Rings while the musicians performed. Additionally, during "The Bridge of Khazhad-Dum" they projected images of flame on the back wall of the stage, while during Shire and Lothlorien themes, they projected images of leaves and forest.

Another bright point was running into Todd and Sheryl. We haven't seen them in quite some time, and Todd is an old V:TES friend of David's.

Beforehand, we got together with Michael R., who was also attending the show, for dinner. We got to try not only a new restaurant, but new cuisine: none of us had ever tried Indonesian before. We went to Bali Indah, on Cheshire Bridge Road. We all started with a coconut chicken soup. David and Michael ordered chicken dishes, while I had squid, then each of us tried a different dessert. Michael had coconut rolls, while David had this spicy fruit salad. I liked mine best: the avocado smoothie was pleasant and soothing, and didn't taste particularly like avocado, actually.

If I had to describe it, it was sort of like Thai food, but lighter, and with some of the flavors one might encounter in Indian cuisine. I liked it, and felt that the lighter broth was well-suited to the hot climate of the sunny South.

Comments

goodjoan
Jun. 7th, 2004 11:18 am (UTC)
Funny about feeling underdressed! The last time I made it to the opera I was postpartum and still more 'fluffy' than my dress clothes allowed so I made do with something not exactly opera quality but much better than jeans and a t shirt. When we got to the Grand Opera House (In Macon, we lived in M'ville) there were some folks outside in tuxedos and ball gowns and I felt really out of place, but when I got inside I realized that probably 60% of the patrons were in jeans or dockers! At least I'd made an effort! Flipping through the program at intermission explained a lot. The theater is now part of Mercer University and they had a new campaign that was something along the lines of "Bugle beads or bugle boys, it's all Grand!" to try to pull in more local folks and students. Apparently it worked! Anyway, kudos to you for dressing up! I'm all for casual, but it's nice to have a few places where everyone tries to look a little nicer!
pointedview
Jun. 8th, 2004 10:55 am (UTC)
Well, I was way ahead of the woman a row ahead of us in a white shirt, frosted 80s hair and jeans who not only arrived late, but was smacking gum throughout the performance. My Mema would rise from the grave and snatch me up if I ever did such a thing!

I am glad more folks are going to the symphony, but is just an iota of decorum so much to ask for? Dressing up doesn't have to be uncomfortable these days, even for us gals.

goodjoan
Jun. 8th, 2004 12:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, that would drive me nuts! I'm one of those poor kids taught to bring a few hard candies in case I get a cough but to unwrap them first and put them in a baggie that doesn't crinkle and stash it in an easy to get to pocket or handbag.

When I was in Jr High there was a teacher that Loved Opera and wanted to take the kids to the annual student performance at Lincoln Center in NYC but in order to be able to go on the field trip, we had to stay after school for several days, discussing proper behavior and attire, and also researching the story they were performing so we knew what to expect. The first time I went I was expecting the whole audience to be similarly prepared and was really shocked when there were kids running around, leaping over seats, yelling, etc. I think we were the only busload of kids that were dressed up, sat quietly and weren't whispering "What's he saying? He's not speaking English!!" On a similar up-side, the teacher in question was known about school as a cranky, harsh woman who was quick to nab you in the hall for bad behavior or bust you for a pass when you were out of class after the bell. Most of the kids avoided her if at all possible, but the students who went through opera boot camp and managed to show our cultured side, we were often given a wave and a smile, even after the bell :) Ahh, the subtle benefits of being a good kid!

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