All right, I hear you all say: Isn’t the opera season over? I did say that earlier, didn’t I? The opera season is, but the Requiem season isn’t.
Fine, I’ll admit it. I’d known for a while I would be going to the Meyerhoff to see Verdi’s Requiem. And yes, I have intentionally kept it a secret. Just felt it wouldn’t hurt to surprise you all with a little encore and show up on my blog stage once more before I officially called it “Summer Break”.
|Left to right: Angela Meade, Eve Gigliotti, Marin Alsop|
My review is available to read on http://www.bachtrack.com/ (Reviews Section) and since I can’t post a link to it here, I’d like to motivate you to go for all the trouble of finding it on the said website, and shed some light on its pretty unusual composition. You know how sometimes a movie starts with a scene from the past shot in sepia, and then switches to modern times, thus making us wonder if and how those seemingly unrelated people and events are connected, and what unknown truth is waiting to get out once the ends of the broken string are drawn back together…
There. That’s what format I chose for my review: Past-Present-Past (Verdi – Concert at the Meyerhoff – Verdi). The Verdi parts are two short scenes from his life that magically connect to the main part of the review – the concert.
In a way, this kind of composition was my experiment, considering it was a bit more than just a review of the concert, and I dare say it came out pretty decent, since I got a very flattering e-mail from the director of Bachtrack, that said:
Great review thank you! I really enjoyed reading it.
Feel free to do some more choral. You do it in a way that’s very accessible to a wide audience.
As I was sitting in my super-wonderful orchestra seat, which allowed me as much as to watch the face expressions of the choristers (several of them bearing a striking resemblance with older Verdi), I was thinking: This is great! I’ve got to take Troy to see it!
So what if he would not understand what a requiem is??? First of all, it’s a lot of beautiful music – that he is sure to understand.
I got the tix first thing the following morning for the only matinee available, Sunday June 12th.
So yesterday my mom and I took Troy, at the age of 2 years and 4 months to see Verdi’s Requiem, the most significant and grandiose of the composer’s work.
Let me just say one thing first: I know you are not going to believe it. Therefore, I am asking you please do – because unreal as it sounds, it’s true.
Not only Troy behaved perfectly (and he is a pretty loud kid most of the time), but he loved every minute of it! Before the show he was identifying and naming every instrument in the orchestra: tuba, trumpet, violin and drum. But as the show started he listened with so much focus and attention, following the instruments with his fingers and hands, pretending to play them. He particularly liked Dies irae with the trumpets playing on and off the stage, creating a surround sound illusion. He was ‘conducting’ too, and very much in sync with the music. (After the performance he got a lot of praise for his conducting from audience members sitting behind us, who came up to him to greet him and shake his hand with respect and admiration).
I was not sure how he would take the louder choral parts, like Dies irae. Guess what? They happened to be his favorite.
He absolutely loved “theater”(the Meyerhoff). The boxes, the tiers, the orchestra, the conductor, the choir –all his favorite stuff.
A requiem is usually performed without an intermission and you are not supposed to applaud until it’s over.
That supposedly makes things harder with a toddler, since his chances of letting his emotions out in a round of applause are limited. Yet, Troy was determined to keep very quiet and was proud to be able to do so! Even when he was thirsty, he threw the most expressive look at my mom’s purse and pressed his hand to his mouth.
But, when it was time for ovation – no one in the whole house was more excited than Troy. I held him up as high as I could, so he could see numerous people around him, clapping and cheering for the artists. He clapped and screamed Bravo (so far he is not familiar with the -a/-i variations) and kept turning around to see the whole symphony hall on their feet and clapping. He was delighted. Truly and most sincerely delighted.
He was neither exhausted nor overwhelmed. He was just happy.
So after a thunderstorm (we’ve been having one of those almost every day here in Baltimore), we went for a walk in our area, and Troy kept recalling “theater”, and saying that he likes theater and wants to go again. Then he asked me to sing Req ( his name for Requiem) and I managed to pull off a couple of lines from Dies irae. He immediately started singing it with me and asked to sing again and again.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of Troy for loving music so passionately and unconditionally and for being able to enjoy Verdi’s Requiem with all his heart.
He still talks about it today. Mama, theater, let’s go theatre…
How special is it that we made the discovery of this musical masterpiece together: me at 37 and Troy at 2y and 4mo old?