Saturday, July 10, 2004

Seattle Symphony performing Orff's "Carmina Burana"

Not in it together
Benaroya Hall, Seattle

I love the women who attend the symphony and the opera. They get all doodied up, have some cocktails, and then perform visual full-body sweeps of all the other women in the room. The best thing is to go in some bizarre dress or striped pedal-pushers and get them to do an actual double-sweep. And it isn't just an eye sweep, either. The entire head is involved to examine you hat to shoe.

The crowd featured lots of sparkly things, plunging necklines, and several very uncomfortable teenagers. Two ladies that I trailed for a while were blow-dried and make-up'd to the max. It sounded like one lady was visiting the other, possibly from Vancouver (if my Cadar is still good). The Vancouver lady had this lacy sort of see-through top on, but with one thread that trailed behind and stuck to her black pants. It reminded me of every garment I ever purchased from Jay Jacobs. The ladies ended up sitting RIGHT behind me! Hooray!

After the first piece, a gal seated next to my ladies leans over and excitedly attempts to tell them how much she knows about Rimsky-Korsakov. "I helped to write the program notes" she says. The ladies want nothing to do with this poor gal, so the gal slumps back, unable to impress.

Now I understand that all the drama and conflict of a symphony performance happens on the stage through the music. However, I think the symphony etiquette that says you can't clap until the entire piece is done is TRAGIC. They play these incredible swirling intense pieces, and at the end when the audience is pumped up and excited, they have to just SIT THERE. I mean, have you HEARD Infernal Dance of King Kashchei? That's some crazy shit! We want to clap! But no. I think that the mere knowledge that we can't applaud after a movement quells the overall energy of the crowd, and they drift.

(The Carmina Burana gets a bad rap. The only section people ever remember is the Goth-like Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi, but no one remembers the light, almost holiday sounding parts.)

One of the drifters was seated in front and just to the left of me. He clearly had a new facial unit - moustache connected to goatee thing. He had to have his hand touching his facial hair AT ALL TIMES. This included his nose hair. At one point he did this thing (I think it's probably his patented trick designed for people looking at him from the front, but it fails miserably if anyone is looking at him from the side) where he covered his moustache with his index finger, then using his thumbnail reached right in and scraped gunk off his molar teeth. And THEN if that wasn't enough I KID YOU NOT he scraped more gunk from his front tooth with his index finger and then stuck that finger right in his EAR.

The soprano soloist was sick so another gal filled in. I felt bad for her because she had to sit on the stage while 2/3 of the Carmina Burana was played behind her. The Northwest Boychoir sounded fine, but I was hoping for more of a throw-down. Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, and Orff demand that the Bravo-ing and Woo-ing happen THROUGHOUT the pieces, damnit.


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