A few months ago I went with some friends to hear/see the Bach Passion According to Matteo. It started early, 19:30, because it is long. We drove to Lampugnano and then got the Metro into Milano.
At Lampugnano, near the bus station, lots of African males, and one or two families, standing around and lying on the benches. How did the mothers with children feel? Where were they going? Or going to end up? One bloke outside kicked a can angrily, one bloke inside had spread out fake handbags to sell.
We got off the metro at Duomo. The piazza in front of the church was packed, with Italian youth as well as lots of tourists. I hated it. I dislike the chaos of people more and more. I almost understood the quietness of some abstract expressionists. (Though a real and silent blue sky is better than their self-concious self-important daubs.)
There are big bright video ads on the side of Duomo now. I'm an agnostic/aethistic but it seemed sacrilege.
We got on the crowded tram, a number 3, and in 15 minutes got off at Auditorium.
Our seats in the concert hall were up high on the balcony because the bloke who booked them had wanted to be able to see the instruments. But it turned out to be a bad choice for him, the seats were a bit too far back, and he is not very tall.
I had a decent view of one half the orchestra, and a poor view of the other half. There were two sets of singers, and later I would discovered that their sung conversations were amazing (as long as you did not understand the words).
As the singers and musicians walked in I noticed one of the principal violinists. She wore very high heels. Not so much shoes as just straps and spangly bits. She had two tone hair, Joe 90 glasses and an attractive face. Her top was sleeveless with a long deep semicircular neck line. Whenever I got bored I looked at her. She moved her head quite a lot as she played. She was maybe 35.
One of the principal singers was a tall thin woman with long blonde hair. She sang well and emotionally, leaning slightly foward into the audience now and then, maybe to project her voice into our minds better. When she walked back to her seat after singing, I saw she was thin but shapely nonetheless. Forget ideas about the "fat lady" in classical music.
I could not find any photos of the violinist, but of Scheen the singer yes:
She wore a tubular sleeveless dress. It was hot in the Auditorium and the women have the option of no sleeves to reduce sweating.
Both the violinist and Scheen had bright red lipstick, though the violinist's mouth was wider larger than the singer's, strangely.
Every time the Evangelist got up to sing I sighed inwardly with anticipated boredom. The long and practically spoken parts are boring to me. The words (projected in German and Italian on a screen above the players) show how shallow and contradictory the story is. (If it had been predicted by the prophets, what choice did Judas have? I'm sure there are theologians who can explain this, but there is nothing to push against in their arguments. It is all talk and nothing but talk. If it was not just talk why are there so many contradictory religions?)
Now, when the the whole chorus was singing (and not speaking), it was beautiful, full-on orgasmastron stuff.
It was a long concert and the finale was lovely but welcome.
The tram back was packed. I saw a dark skinned tatooed bloke with a dog sitting a metre or so from where I was standing. He was dark but not in a healthy way. His dog pushed its nose against his knees. The sort of bloke you would not like to meet alone in a dark alley. Piercings too. He offered to give up his seat to an old woman standing next to him. I wonder what his life is like? The dog looked happy.
I saw my reflection in the window, saw a gery haired late middle aged bloke in a blue anorak hanging onto a strap in a tram. And I looked as if I should have been dressed in beige.
Looking out into Friday midnight Milano, I noticed all the energetic youth, living as if they'd never be old, let alone die. Running under bright lights from bar to disco. And what struck me was all the 20 something girls around, apparently carefree, dressed (and undressed) to the nines. As if there was no danger in the world.