29.05.2009 - 29.05.2009
Friday evening and I can go to a concert!
I have been trying to go to concerts wherever I go in the world. It's a fun opportunity and you get to see 'natives' as foreigners don't typically seek out the "real" venues.
Krakow is no different. They offer a few tourist concerts in a couple of the churches in town...and many in the group go to those...but I like the real thing. Peter our guide told me the Philharmonic was playing Friday and Saturday night. Ended up I could go Friday. So I popped over around 6:30 for the 7:00 show. Bought a ticket from the ticket office only about $10US (thankfully minimal words are needed for that exchange) and walked into the lobby. A small cramped affair. I was there early enough that I was shewed toward the cloak room which was downstairs. Egads. I was counting on wearing my green over coat as I wore short sleves...gasp. People dress for the orchestra here, lots of suits and dresses. Oh well. So I handed my coat over and went upstairs. I had my ticket in hand but when I got upstairs I realized. Hum...I don't know the word for "row', nor the word for "seat" my number combo could be either. Drat! So I had to ask an usher "Row?" as I pointed to the word I hoped was row. She spoke a small amount of English and said "yes, on the right." Yippee...Then I realized my wallet and money were in the coat. You typically have to purchase programs in Europe. Drat. Oh well it would be in Polish anyhow.
They allow people very late seating which surprised me. What surprised me even more was them clomping down the aisle. DUH we are trying to listen to music here you Clydesdale! Aside from the late seating I think this was the quietest audience I have been in attendance. There were some ladies that were whispering (you cannot quietly whisper Polish btw...lots of tire leaking air sounds "psh, schp" etc). There were a couple small children in front of me. Two darling girls one around 6 or 7 the other around 5 or 6. They were angles. Not a peep and they seemed to enjoy and know the music. In between movements the hall didn't sound like a tuberculin ward.
The concert was great. Guest conductor from London. Playing Hayden and some other Requiem I was unfamiliar with. The Hayden was short and quick...the Requiem was really very nice. there were 4 soloists and about a 100 person choir and the pipe organ. The acoustics where I sat were great. Every few min you heard and felt the rumble of the tram on the adjacent street. The hall was relativity plain (by Prague standards) but very lovely. The seats were very tall...which was kinda nice and the hall was not large. Probably 24 rows on the floor with a balcony.
One of the soloists was this bottle dyed red head. Lord she looked like she would be a hoot to know. She had this black number on that I swore the top was made of rooster tales but I think it was something else. She lead the group of 4 out and started walking the wrong way...she made an exasperated face and got on track. She had a great voice. On the red hair. There is a style that hits women in Europe...it's the bottle red hair color. It varies...but brassy shades of burnt orange to deep burgundy (and all colors in between - NONE Found in nature) is quite common among a certain age group. Once you notice it you see it everywhere. It's quite interesting.