The Graz (h) Oper

by Aug 3, 2021Observations0 comments

We had just taken our seats at lounge number three when we heard “ladies and gentlemen, please switch off your mobile phones and keep your FFP masks on during the entire presentation.” The air inside the theater was humid and the organisers were patroling to check if everyone was adhering to the Covid-19 measures. The oxygen that made it through the mask was too little so I used a trick I had learned from kiki. I fixed the upper part of the mask on my nose and held it with my glasses. I then removed the string that held the mask on my left ear. That way, the left side of the mask opened and I was able to get a little bit more air without being asked any questions.

The crane on the right is an actual piece of art. It has nothing to do with construction!

Lounge number three had three seats (coincidence?) and a long bench at the back. It was made of hardwood that was beautifully decorated with red velvet. The velvet gave it some kind of an exquisite royal touch. On the wall was a small mirror and three hooks for coats. I let my gaze wander through the theater and I noticed that I had a good view for the most part of the stage but would have to bent a little to watch the harp player. As I sat and waited for the play to begin, I thought of the many people that had taken a seat at this exact lounge since 1899 and the many servants or children that had to be content with the bench at the back. For a minute or so, I was very glad to be living in the 21st century.

The arrangement of the stage was similar to the ones in other theaters, the only instrument outstanding from this presentation was the piano. At the very top of the stage was the choir dressed in black with thick red belts. (I wonder who selected their outfits?) Right below them were the percussions and the timpani. Steph bent over and whispered “I guess the guy with the triangle instrument has the easiest job of the whole orchestra“, “Maybe”, I replied, “It always looks easy until you are asked to play it“. He smiled and said “hitting the tringle with the metal every now and then cant be that difficult!”

Photo by: Samuel Sianipar

One step below them were the harp, the horn, trumpets, trombone and tuba players. these sat next to the clarinet’s bassoons, flutes and oboe players. Right below them were the first and second violins, violas, The cellos and contra bass sat on the right.

The conductor walked in with a heartily applause from the theatre guests. He was followed by the three theatre players who were to present the play “the tempest“ by William Shakespeare.

The lights were deemed and the music began.


I am a fool

To weep at what I am glad of.


Fair encounter

Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace

On that which breeds between ´em!


Wherefore weep you?

If I was asked to use one word to define the combination of the play, the opera singers and the music, I would choose the word “grandiose”. The motivation of the theatre players the determination of the instrument players, the passion of the opera singers and the devotion of the conductor made it all very grandiose.

After a few songs, the choir arose and left the stage. All but one! One lady sat right in the middle on the first row. When her colleagues had left the stage, she took her seat and continued watching the play. I admired her courage as I watched her use her red hand fan to fan herself. As I admired her courage I also wondered if she would get into trouble after the show for choosing to remain and watch the play rather than to leave with her choir colleagues.

How many times have we chosen to do what seemed right to our own disadvantage? Chosen to leave because everyone else was leaving or because we were asked to leave. How many times have we obeyed just to miss out the best part?

I dare you to stay!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *