Vienna, August 2014
Midget is besotted. There are violins, cellos, all that orchestral stuff that I don’t know the names of, a chorus and opera singers. I like the opera singers. I’m not sure why, but I have the feeling that it’s the depth of human emotion you see, and hear, in opera. I remember watching opera for the first time in Verona, on cushions on the stone seats of the Roman Amphitheatre. I remember the homeless people outside, and the Mother warning me, a young teenager, to watch myself.
If I had to pick a sound that was the opposite of depression, I’d pick that night in Verona.
Midget of course likes the instruments, particularly the violins I think, but they make her nostalgic because she can play good music. Nostalgia being tinted with sadness because playing good music requires regular practices, and regular practice isn’t quite so sweet. She knew the music, whereas I followed the antics on the stage with no idea when one thing ended and another began. Midget had played some of the music we were listening to – Figaro – and the familiar sounds call to her.
We came tonight because I saw that look in her eyes when she walked past the man selling tickets. The look of longing. And she would have said nothing. She would have walked past.
Not surprisingly, I don’t want her to have nothing. I want her to delight in the familiar sounds, in this great hall with marble busts of composers she thinks I should know. Her eyes should sparkle. When she hears these sounds, they mean something special to her. I want her fingers to move subconsciously as she lives in both this time and a past time where it was her making the music sing.
She thinks I’m crazy, buying concert tickets here and there, not knowing who this Figaro chap is and why his music is special.
She says it’s not Figaro’s music, and she rolls her eyes to demonstrate that I should know better. A chap called Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote it. The piece is the Marriage of Figaro.