1. They sat hand in hand. “They” were a couple (I would guess in their 70’s) who sat to my left at the opera house today. I observed their shameless hand-holding, and then thanked them. I like it that folks of my generation are still so much in love and care for each other that they hold hands.
2.He is a flautist (or in more recent usage - a flutist). He is a terrific musician. His name is Tim and I met him “back in the day” when I was the Rector at St. James’s in Cambridge, MA. Tim is a friend of Cambridge parishioners Ken and Tess, and that’s how and why I met him in the Bay State.
Tim and I “bumped into” each other during the second interval at today’s Sarasota Opera production. He is playing in the opera’s orchestra. Our brief reunion was “cool”!
3. I arrived very early for today’s opera matinee. That gave me time to watch the “valet parking” guys (they were all “guys”). What a tough job they have.
To start with, they have to be un-failingly polite to even the most obnoxious of clients. Then, after they have driven the cars to a vacant parking lot, they have to run their legs off - (Jehus without chariots)- back to the opera house, and then bow and scrape at the next customer.
Next, they have to “sit around” for the duration of the opera - and then be ready to run at high speed so that opera goers can be reunited with their cars “tout de suite”.
These valet guys receive no wages. All of their work is solely for tips.
I wish that they had a good old-fashioned Trades Union. (Be patient with me. I am an un-apologetic socialist!).
4. Victor is a very relaxed, gracious, and approachable guy. He is often to be seen in downtown Sarasota. He is delighted to chat with all and sundry, friends and strangers alike, and is ready and attentive to both gratitude and criticism.
In point of fact he welcomes and encourages criticism.
In truth - his full name is Victor DeRenzi - and he has been the Artistic Director of the Sarasota Opera for lo these thirty years. You could not hope to meet a more gracious person.
5. So now you have “sussed me out”. I was at the Sarasota Opera this afternoon. It was for a performance of Puccini’s “La boheme”.
“La boheme” is the second most frequently performed opera in the world.
It has an improbable plot, which is allied to the most sublime music, (there’s opera for you!!)
So I sat and soaked it up. Such music is good food for my soul,
And even though I know the plot, and even though I know that it’s all improbable and implausible fiction, I got teary eyed in the final act when “Mimi” (the heroine) died.
6. I did not go to Church this morning. Please do not tell anyone!