One thing that bothers me when it comes to opera – or, rather, when I come to the opera – are the other people there. On the one hand, there is always a standing ovation. Every time. Honestly, you’d think this were La Scala or something, the way those crowds go on. How’s an actor supposed to tell when they really did good and when the spectators are just being polite? ‘Well, you went through all that trouble for us, the least we can do is praise you to high heavens and keep you coming out for encore bows for twenty minutes,’ is the reasoning, I guess.
On the other hand, right while most are standing there clapping their palms sore, some find it acceptable to start moving noisily and quite pushily towards the exits. Again, think of the mess this must cause in the heads of the troupe: ‘We did great, look at all those cheering people! But wait, many are heading out while the curtain’s still up – we must have sucked!’ I mean, what’s the big hurry? Do they think there’s an expiration hour on their coat checks? Or maybe they all have meetings? ‘Hey, how about a beer Saturday night around nine? – Nine? No, the ballet only ends at nine. How about nine oh two?’ Talk about rude.
The third hand (yeah, I got spares) goes to all those persons of non-traditional intellect who manage to keep their phones on after a loud recording says in a nice female voice to please switch them off. They are often the same persons who have not mastered the art of finding their phone in their seventeen-foot-deep handbags when it does, naturally, ring. And if it does not ring, they will compensate by talking animatedly among themselves. Today we observed a couple of women who had an agitated discussion in Russian whispers, which culminated in one of them saying in the middle of act one ‘Okay, so I’m going,’ and acting true to her word. The other followed.
If I were queen of the real world, not just the imaginary one in my head, people would need to pass exams for a number of functions in life. Having kids would be high on the list, riding means of public transportation right up next to it, then – using public bathrooms, followed closely by visits to the theatre and opera. Also, people who’d fail the examination would be obligated to wear sandwich boards with the word DUNCE on them in Comic Sans size 780.
If all this seems angry and petty and stupidly worked up, it’s only because I am those things, and a number of other things, none of which begin with h- and end with -appy. No idea why, but you should just be glad that this post does not feature many words that begin with f- and end with -ucking and are not used in their direct meaning.