So we went to the symphony again this weekend, one of four parts of a half price package we got back in July. Saturday night was something called "Four Horns and Beethoven".
It was a good excuse to put on our glad rags and have a nice date night. I was excited to just sit back, relax, and let the imaginings wash over me. But we had a little trouble with that because of the girl who sat one seat over from us. First she came in late. Then she played with her phone. The concert hall being dark, we could see the screen of her smartphone as it flashed up and down from her face. It was all very confusing -- was she making calls? Checking her messages? And more importantly, WHY?
Well she finished eventually but then left the hall and returned with a bottle of water -- just in time for the intermission. What a waste of money!
Anyways after that all seemed okay, until I heard this strange electronic noise that went on every time the music came to a swell. At first I had trouble placing the sound. Then I remembered when my grandmother Wilson, then in her nineties, would put her figure to her hearing aid and twist it around in order to hear us better. It made the same sound.
It's true. There were a disproportionate amount of old folks in attendance that night -- much more than the Pops concert we attended back in September. This meant the ringing of hearing aids but it also meant that there were less jogging pants and ratty jeans in the audience, at least. Still, I don't ever remember this many octogenarians from going to the opera in Toronto.
During the intermission I mused about what it would be like to live in a city with a world-class symphony orchestra. Not that the WSO is bad in any way -- but I was wondering more about what it would be like if sports and the arts here were turned on their head -- if season's tickets to the symphony were as expensive, sought after, and rare as season's tickets to the hockey or the football are in this city. London, Vienna, New York -- I'd much rather be in an artsy city.