You've heard the saying "Go Big or Go Home". Well, under most circumstances, those are the words by which I live. But, I've come to learn that not all good things have to be done on a grand scale.
I was kind of disappointed that nearly everyone I could think of to attend the recent Wagner, Haydn and Purcell series was unable to join me. My husband, my good friend Janette, my sister-in-law (the Director of Music at First United Church in Uptown Waterloo, the location of the event), my brother-in-law, my mother-in-law, my assistant. No one could join me. I even attempted a Facebook post an hour before the concert that said "The first one to call me wins a ticket to the Symphony", but even that was a fail for whatever reason.
So, I finally resolved to the fact that I would be my own date. That's okay. I really enjoy conversations with myself, and always find them interesting. It's not like I'm dull. Nor am I embarrassed or insecure about going somewhere alone. I just love sharing music with people who love it as much as I do. It just didn't work out this particular evening.
I got there 15 minutes early, parked my car, handed in two tickets and explained to the lady at the table in the foyer that she could give it to someone if she'd like, and I took my seat. Then, I moved a little closer. Then, I moved closer again. I realized that it's easier to do that when I'm flying solo. I said a few words to the woman sitting beside me, and soon the music would begin. I was relaxed. No small take that needed to take place. It was just me, so I didn't need to say a word. I just sat there and awaited the beautiful music to come. And beautiful it was indeed.
The title "Baroque and Beyond" was very fitting because it definitely went beyond. I really enjoyed the conductor Eric Paetkau; his words were just enough to engage the crowd without getting in the way of why we were there, to just take it in. Something that really made me smile was the couple sitting two rows in front of me. They must have been in their 90's. I saw them carry in little cushions like one might take to an outdoor sporting event. They were well-groomed, weIl-dressed and well-mannered, smiling at one another throughout the evening like they were on their first date. I saw them quietly slip out during the Intermission, probably because they can only sit so long at their age, not because they didn't enjoy what they were hearing because it was clearly a lovely evening for them, and I couldn't help but think that if I were in the middle of a conversation with one of my friends or family members at the Intermission, I may have not noticed the little couple in front of me. So cute.
My favourite piece was Siegfried Idyll, a love song written by Wagner for his true love played for the first time in 1870 for his love in Lucerne, Switzerland on Christmas morning, and every year after that on her birthday. How romantic! Maybe the 90-something couple felt the night was complete once they heard that love song and heard the conductor share about its origin.
So, lesson learned. It doesn't have to be a big party, and it doesn't have to be at the Centre in the Square to be amazing. Music performed by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony is always beautiful, and I enjoyed a beautiful night taking it all in, even by myself. I would highly recommend that you take in a night at the Symphony at one of the Baroque and Beyond series in Waterloo, Cambridge or Guelph.