The flipside of ecstatic opera reporting

I noticed my opera stories tend to sound very chipper. It’s not always 100% omg heaven, I just don’t think I need to pepper everything with moans. It’s better to save them for a future ranty post ūüėČ

Last time I was at Wigmore Hall I was told off when I attempted to take a picture of… the ceiling air vent (copyrighted, apparently). Generally, though, Wigmore Hall ushers are self effacing. For the record I’ve taken pictures of the WH ceiling air vent before without any interference.


Let’s start with a positive one:

The best ushering experience (so far)…

was at Den Norsk Opera in Oslo. Such laid back, unhindering yet helpful people! I might’ve been just lucky but everybody was beyond pleasant on¬†my super short Norwegian sojourn.

The biggest Cerbers…

the ladies at Bayerische Staatsoper’s¬†Amphitheatre cloak room. They demanded everything be handed in before entering the hall. Once in I realised I didn’t have anything left on me, no sweets, no money, no cards. But I told myself they would guard it all with their lives.

The most pointless zeal…

at Glyndebourne in 2013. I wrote about this one before.

The friendliest fuss¬†to¬†getting backstage…

at the Barbican after the 2014 Alcina with JDD, Coote, Rice et all. I haddn’t intended to go but upon exiting by the backstage door I thought I’d try my luck. Long queue of people who looked too smartly dressed. My turn comes:

backstage lady with clipboard (brightly): are you on the list?
dehggi: no…
BLWC (thinks for a moment): are you friends with anyone from the cast?
BLWC (keeps looking at me hopefully):
dehggi: nevermind.

You may wonder why I didn’t try to wiggle my way in, but I really dislike formal situations and this seemed way too fussy¬†for what would’ve amounted to a simple “great show tonight, thank you! Any chance of you doing this staged?”


The most consumptive audience…

was at the St Matthew Passion at the Barbican last April, followed closely by the early January Benjamin Appl recital at Wigmore Hall. Caughing and sputtering during any break. Lots of supportive caughing happened as well during the last act of Traviata at ROH in 2014.

The most sociable¬†audience…

obsessive¬†texting and chit-chatting at the back of the venue during Leo Nucci’s recital at Cadogan Hall.

The most obnoxious picture session taking during a show…

happened during La forza del destino (Harteros, Kaufmann et all) at Bayerishe Staatsoper. The parterre was alight with flashes.

The biggest fangirling…

also at the above mentioned show: much swooing after every Alvaro JK aria culminated with fans lining up in the front row so they could all have a giant selfie with JK during the upteenth curtain call.

The biggest cat-fight…

took place during Le nozze di Figaro¬†at ROH in 2014 over “leaning”. It started with a seatmate tapping the kids in the front Amphi row on the shoulder with a programme then it spread like wildfire with similar tappings and a crossfire of snide remarks.

The most delirious thumping…

I experienced was during La donna del lago (JDD + JDF) at ROH in 2013. The Amphi shook with delight every time one of them opened their mouth. It greatly disturbed my naps ūüėõ but it leads us into:

The deepest sleeper…

I spotted him in the second row at the Barbican at L’Orfeo in 2013. He was as old as the hall at the very least and his head had slumped between his shoulders about 15min in and stayed there until intermission. I was afraid he had died but his wife elbowed him awake when the lights went up.

The BO champion…

sat next to me at Guillaume Tell at ROH. There’s no two ways about it: dude stank. I had another one who surprised me with his malodorous ways at the same Barbican L’Orfeo mentioned above, but at least his came in waves. There was also the wind breaking¬†lady at Barbican’s L’incoronazione di Poppea in 2014.


About dehggial

Mozart/Baroque loving red dragon

Posted on January 29, 2016, in rants and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. “The biggest fangirling‚Ķ”
    you didn’t sit next to me at Wigmore Hall ūüėČ

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