The silence has probably been rather annoying to those of you who are, for lack of a better phrase, watching my world from afar via Twitter. I haven’t been in the mood to write, though, even after I managed to catch my first fish two weeks ago, and after some interesting milestones were reached within the family relationship between me and my sisters.
I had thought about it a couple of days ago, but the site had gone down and I got distracted before I could call my friend to see what was up. Nonetheless, the site is perfectly all right, and I’ve finally gotten over whatever it was that was making me turn away from giving you, my constant—or perhaps not so constant—readers, a decent update that is longer than the usual 140 characters of Twitter. So, on with the show!
Speaking of shows, I had heard through Twitter last August that a really special twenty-fifth anniversary production of Phantom of the Opera was going to be streamed to various cinemas around the world. Naturally, I found myself wondering if there were going to be any cinemas in Utah that would be showing this particular stream. Needless to say, I pestered some people, waited what seemed for ages, and finally was able to find some information on a local cinema that I could reasonably commute to. The next question was going to be ticket prices.
Again, I pestered some people, waited what seemed like ages and found to my surprise that tickets were only twenty dollars per person. It was then a matter of finding out if Da wanted to go. For as long as I can remember, Da’s enthusiasm for Phantom was about as much as my enthusiasm is for death metal—in other words, very, very low. I kept telling him that if he really wanted, he could just drop me off at the cinema and pick me up in a few hours. Da, being the slightly but pleasantly over-protective person that he is, didn’t want to do this. If I was going to go, he was too, if only to see me grin like an idiot through some part and cry through others and generally enjoy myself all the way through, while he sat wondering when the lights would turn on again so we could go home. *laughs*
While waiting for Da to make up his mind about what he wanted to do for sure, I pre-order the twenty-fifth anniversary DVD and CD, and brooded about how I was going to get tickets before the cinema sold out. This was, of course, about a month before the show was to actually air. As for the DVD and CD, they won’t be here till November fourteenth, so you might say I was just a little bit excited over all to see this.
Anyway, Da eventually made up his mind, and we decided also to take a friend with us. Two weeks or so before the show was to actually go to air, I bought three tickets for twenty bucks a piece, and had talked to Da enough to come to the conclusion that he was not going to come with me out of sheer obligation. I had it set in my mind that he was all right with everything, and he was open and ready to enjoy what he could and not feel miserable while we were there.
Time passed rather slowly, during which we did things like camping and fishing and preparing for performances, practicing, reading and enjoying life in general. Finally, today came along, the second of October. It was time for something spectacular.
I woke up at half past five this morning, as has been my routine for the past who knows how long due to both broken sleep and simple energy. To help pass the time, I talked over MSN to a couple of people, one in particular whose name is Davy, and we discussed various things. Actually, I chattered quite a lot while he listened and returned a fair number of comments… oh wait that’s about how any conversation goes, isn’t it? Anyway that was fun, and I was able to resist the urge to wake everyone else up by turning on my stereo and blasting out the very loud Phantom overture for the whole house. I was so proud of myself… LOL!
So, time goes by and eventually it ends up that we’re all awake, and I’m hearing mumblings from the kitchen: “…two friggin’ hours… long day…”
I had been so excited, too! I felt like somebody’d stuck a pin in my balloon and the air was just kind of leaking out in this little pathetic hiss. The only thing that kept running through my head was that I’d already bought tickets, and that Da had said he’d wanted to go even though he didn’t. I brooded the whole time I was getting ready, trying to joke with Da as he joked with me and poked fun a bit at the musical, tried to keep things light, keep the excitement balloon full of helium. I managed to laugh though, and eventually joked with Da about how I had given him a way out a bunch of times and yet he didn’t take it, and by the time we got in the car, I wasn’t feeling quite so discouraged. There’s nothing so discouraging and unpleasant as taking somebody somewhere only to have to watch them be miserable while you enjoy yourself to bits.
We arrived at the cinema at twenty minutes to twelve. I had refilled the excitement balloon almost to the point of bursting and things were going well. I even told Da that he could sleep if he really wanted, as long as he didn’t mumble and grumble the whole way through the show. We opened the door, went into the auditorium and found out that we were the first one there. It so happened that this weekend was conference weekend, which meant that most of Utah would be watching the LDS Conference. As a result, there were a total of about ten people who watched the show. I was amused, and somewhat relieved that I didn’t have to listen to a bunch of screaming, hysterically giddy phans… LOL
I wish I could describe to you the feelings that came over me when the overture began. The speakers in the theater weren’t hugely loud, but I guess that’s all right because it made it a bit more realistic. Stage performances aren’t obnoxiously loud, so the cinema did a very nice job at emulating that. I was kind of mad that people were munching on popcorn and candy, because it sort of ruins the whole effect of the fact that you are watching a live stage performance, even if it is being shown on a big screen, but other than that, everything was all right.
From the first notes of the overture to the last chord of the finale, Da was absolutely taken. I had told him time and time again about the story, and he knew my particular emotional responses to the musical, but he really hadn’t paid a lot of attention to it. The first time we watched Phantom in Capital Theater, the actual staged performance and not a streamed broadcast, Da slept through all but the overture and the last five minutes of the second act. I showed him that movie when I was eighteen, and he seemed to get more of the picture. This last time, though, he understood as much as I wanted him to know, and more. We wept at the last scene and enjoyed a phenomenal performance over all.
Because I am uncertain who will be reading this, and as I have Twitter followers who may not have seen the performance by the time they read this post, I will avoid speaking much about the performance and its various finale surprises. I can say, though, that there was so much passion that the lead actor and actress that played Phantom and Christine ended up actually crying as they performed. There were times I became breathless, and I couldn’t help trembling as wave after wave of emotions and chills washed through me. I felt at times that I was on stage myself, living and acting with the cast, a part of the events unfolding in front of me. I would have burst out singing would it not have been a breach of social etiquette. Orchestra and voices combined together in a seamless production that I am most certainly glad that I did not miss. As a bonus, I think Da has grown to actually understand and like Phantom for what it is. Furthermore, he seems to have understood my emotional responses to it, and understand why such responses are evoked within me. I am very, very glad we got to see and celebrate Phantom for its twenty-fifth anniversary.
Before I close, I wanted to briefly update you on the Alexander and Buono international flute competition that I hopefully mentioned in one of my earlier posts. I am uncertain as to how I should summarize, so I am going to quote the Email which came in as I was writing this. It says:
Dear Ms. Blood:
Thank you very much for your participation in the 2011 Alexander & Buono International Flute Competition.
First, we want you to know that the field of applicants was enormously competitive with wonderful flutists from all over the world. The decision of the judges was indeed very difficult.
We are delighted to announce you have been chosen as a Second Prize Winner of the 2011 Alexander & Buono International Flute Competition.
Among an enormously talented field of applicants, it was the consensus of the judges that your application performance was of a very high quality, and we are pleased to award you this honor.
Congratulations on your selection.
Barry Alexander and Cosmo Buono
All in all, I’d say that today has been a really emotional day, but pleasantly so. I still need to double check to see if I am to perform in a winner’s concert for the competition at some point, but I’m not too terribly worried about it at present. I am too tired to worry. I honestly feel as though I will sleep tonight! That being said, I think I am going to close and perhaps read a bit, or call up a few people and tell them about the news and or schedule rehearsals for November’s concert… yes I still need to remember my performances as well. At any rate, I shall write again at some point!