I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at the Regina Symphony farewell to their present conductor, a wonderful fellow, Victor Sawa, who has been with them for the past 20 years.
Two Beethoven Symphonies were performed: the 25 minute delight of #1 and the 65 minute, exciting #9. The time flew past even with a somewhat long intermission between the two performances. I would go to the symphony far more often but can't justify one hundred or more dollars a ticket more than about once a year....a shame because it is really worth the price of admission.
My OCD does tend to rear its head however at most public performances, since things like unexpected audience noise and any small glitches in the performances set it off. However, I feel I had grace from God to control myself admirably last night. I never once indicated outwardly that anyone around me should "shut the #@*# up" nor perform myself any other such nasty outburst! If you also have OCD or know someone who does then you know how difficult self-control is in such cases! haha
My friend said there was a very different audience there last night than she, a regular subscriber, is used to. Perhaps it was because a fair number of the participants last evening are not usually performing in a symphonic concert, thus their families and friends are unaware of the public protocols, "manners", required of an audience during a classical music presentation.
Far too many people were unaware of the fact that there is no applause between the movements of a classical work. I was rather shocked when it happened the first time, but eventually got used to it as the evening went on. Mr. Sawa was very, very good about the interruptions, obviously aware of the lack of musical education among the audience members. His patience was fabulous to see.
The choir sitting behind the musicians awaiting their turn to sing in the 9th Symphony were attempting to model the decorum expected, but no one was apparently paying any attention to their silence between movements. haha
From two rows behind us, at intervals that seemed specifically timed, at least to a person with OCD, to coincide with the most quiet and preciously beautiful parts of each piece, came the ominous rattle of ice cubes in a cardboard take out cup. Sigh..... The young adult fellow sitting three seats down the row from me obviously has some behavioural "difficulties" and the Lord used that to give me patience and strength when he would too often turn to his mother and commence some sort of conversation about whoever he was texting during the performance...the very time his cell phone was supposed to be shut off like everyone else's. Sigh.... BUT I said nothing!! Thank you Jesus for some measure of self-control on the rage that was slowly building throughout the evening. The couple in front of us brought their wine glasses into both halves of the performance with them, the first no-no of their evening, not helped at all by his dropping of his glass between movements 3 and 4 and its shattering all over the floor at his feet. Sigh..... They also never stopped talking the entire evening..but at least they were not loud, only completely distracting to me with the OCD. hahaha The no cameras or recording devices rule was completely disobeyed by a fellow two rows in front of me, but, again I was pleased with myself, I did not hop out of my seat to inform the volunteer usher of his noncompliance with the rules. Thank you Jesus and amen!!
So, while there were some annoyances and distractions for me, the general performance was quite wonderful. The singing by the soloists and choirs was close to magnificent, all done in the German in which the lyrics were written, no English translation occurring in an attempt to make the music more understandable to we unenlightened English,or other language, speaking masses.
At the beginning of the concert, after the introductions were completed we were treated to a wonderful group of older elementary aged children playing Ode to Joy on little old student violins. The kids are participants in a special inner city school programme to bring music lessons to those who would otherwise not have a chance to learn an instrument. They played so well...a great job and it brought tears to my eyes.
I had such fun. What a marvellous gift to receive. Bless you Sheila and Diane!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
The next concert I am going to is on Saturday afternoon and the final performance I get to attend is Amici Choir's spring performance the following week. Sunday of the long weekend is a chance for a friend and I to sing a little duet at church, a simple hymn that has lovely lyrics, so perfect for a baptism. That will close out the musical season for me until the Christmas and winter concerts begin in December. It is quite a treat to be living in a city large enough to support all these quality musical endeavors!