Musical Survey: Part 1
Part one of our survey wherein we ask one musician and one music appreciator questions regarding classical music.

Musical Survey: Part 2
In part two, we take our survey to the streets! Input from viewers and some folks we found.

Okay friends. Grit your teeth and bare with me as I recount my latest audience nightmare.

Picture me sitting in a theater of a world premere operetta performance, listening intently, when I hear the telltale signs of a snack bag being excavated out of a purse or pocket. “Oh brother…” I think as the child behind me begins to fiddle with her noisy snack. “Perhaps it is left over from intermission and she is just grabbing a single solitary morsel” I expectantly hope. “Besides, her parent or guardian will surely scold her shortly for making such a racket.”

She beings to open the crinkly package, cellophane and foil squealing as the seal breaks.

“It can’t be! [string of expletives]”

Sure enough, the girl opens a fresh bag of Cheetos and begins munching away at her processed cheesy goodie no sign of a signal to desist from whoever is in charge of her. I glare over my shoulder in my best passive agressive half turn. You know the one.

Okay. Focus Andria. There is something happening on stage but I seem to have lost the plot line. Someone is dead, someone is crazy, and two people that shouldn’t be in love are. Ah, yes. Opera! But it simply will not do. The sounds of this child’s mastications are drilling through my skull, coursing through my body with each crunch, and exiting through my curled toes.

I break into a cold sweat and I can feel my temperature rising as I suppress the urge to jump into the row behind me, give a primal yell, and smack the abhorred snack out of the girls hand.

I try again to, as venomously as possible, give a sharp look over my shoulder but it is of no use. Hope is lost. Too socially awkward to tell the girl to be quiet but too compulsive to let it go. I sit in misery for what feels like an hour. It was probably 10 minutes but lets not get technical.

I listen to her finish her Cheetos, crunch up her bag, and slurp her fingers clean before peace and the sweet release of silence is finally bestowed upon me.

This is not the first nor the last time I have encountered horrible behavior at a formal performance. Lets for todays purposes skip things like using smart phones during a concert because at the very least that’s a quiet activity.

Am I the only one who seems to always be sat next to the kid with Cheetos or the old lady with a cold and cough drops? I can’t imagine that is possible. I have been to too many concerts with an assortment of noises including (but not limited to) babies crying, conversation, singing along, food and drink consumption, noisy camera shutters, and a veritable nose symphony. What are you doing audience? At an event so focused on sounds and listening, noises that aren’t coming from the performers really disrupt the experience for everyone.

I’ve heard that Austrian audiences are some of the best behaved audiences in the world. Concert goers even carefully turn the pages of their programs as not to make a single sound by crinkling the paper. Opening up a cough drop wrapper would certainly get you shushed out of the hall. We on this side of the globe could use some of that courtesy for the sake and sanity of our fellow attendees.

I don’t really blame the 10 year old, I don’t think she knew better. I do, however, blame whoever it was who raised her to believe that eating a snack during an opera is an okay thing to do.

A concert hall is not your living room and your are not in front of your television.

-A

Michelle and Andria tackle doubts of nay sayers of music education in schools with the help of S.C.A.R.F.