Monday, October 5, 2009

I just don't get it

Hummingbird in flight

On Sunday night we went to see Cecilia Bartoli. Cate says she is one of the best singers in the world – even better – she says – than Cliff Richard. Cecilia was accompanied on the Piano by Lang Lang who is just as famous.

I quote from Wikipedia:

Bartoli is considered a coloratura mezzo-soprano with an unusual timbre. She is one of the most popular (and one of the top-selling) opera singers of recent years. Bartoli is much liked by the concert-going public for her lively, vivacious on-stage persona, while her lyric voice and investigations of other Baroque-era music have given her considerable recognition even among the non-opera-going public.

The performance was in the Großer Musikvereinssaal.

"As high as any expectations could be, they would still be exceeded by the first impression of the hall which displays an architectural beauty and a stylish splendour making it the only one of its kind.”

This was the reaction of the press to the opening of the new Musikverein building and the first concert in the Großer Musikvereinssaal on 6 January 1870.


It was – by all accounts – a stunning performance – with much warbling and trilling – and as an added bonus she did an imitation of a ladybug singing – fabulous!

As you are aware – I am not much into this type of singing and – of the more than 20,000 tunes in my iTunes library – there is masses of Classical Music and Opera – including Cecilia – but I don’t get to it very often.

I mean – I can understand the concept – it’s just that it doesn’t stir me the way it should. I have to live with this.

In any event – Cate loathes 90% of my music and I don’t berate her about this so she needs to let me off the hook.

Cate thought it was wonderful - and that’s all that really matters.

There was only one other person in jeans as far as I could see and the seething mass of humanity on show was mainly pretty well dressed up.

However, I was wearing a double-breasted navy blue jacket and a blue and white striped shirt – together with my new Camper black leather shoes – so looked pretty cool and got more than one casual glance from the very old and short-sighted women there. (I was also one of the youngest people in the room which tells you something).

It was of course not air-conditioned so in the second half was punctuated by people flopping unconscious from their seats.

We were in the very back row and behind us there were approximately 6,000 people compressed into the ‘standing room only’ pen. They generated a lot of heat – but were too closely packed together to collapse.

At half time a woman with a beehive hairdo escaped from the pen and sat in one of only two spare seats in the theatre – which happened to be in front of Cate. Naturally I gave my seat to Cate so I could watch this woman’s head for an hour.

Not that I minded – just because we paid €137 for each seat and she paid €30 to stand there is no reason why I should not look at her head for an hour. I couldn’t see around her as she kept bobbing and weaving - she may have been a retired boxer but I couldn't see her nose so it was hard to tell.

(We were originally told we had seats near the front – and then that we had no seats – and then that we had the last two together).

The woman behind the other spare seat was much more forceful. She told her squatter that if she was going to sit there she needed to lean way to the left so she did not block the view of the stage. She duly did this and will probably be having physiotherapy today.

There is no smoking in the Theatre at all. Why? You can smoke almost anywhere else in Vienna – including in shops, bars and restaurants – how can they ban smoking in Theatres?

If I was a smoker I would start a class action against them for impinging on my rights.


  1. *sigh*
    I love Cecilia. I was truly sad Sunday night.
    I would have been happy about the standing room only ticket,
    if only I could have had one. I missed acquiring tickets in time.

  2. could have used the empty seat in front of me. I know you don't have a beehive.