* Tattling *
The main problem with the balcony is the latecomers, because otherwise, the sound is rather good up there. A family of four arrived after the music started, and thus were left to stand in the back for an hour and thirty-five minutes. This was terrible for children, because they were not tall enough to see over the wall. The mother was wearing stilettos and wanted to sit, but since one cannot see from the back benches, the children would not allow her to. The father left his umbrella, coat, and program on the bench by me, and another woman came over to me, asked if it was my stuff and left in a huff when I said no.
Later, this family had quite a lot of deliberations about what to do, and when it ran into "A un dottor della mia sorte," I finally hushed them. To this, the mother ran up to me, smiled and apologized aloud. At least I had fifty-five minutes of uninterrupted music in the second half.
In the morning, there was a nice man in the standing room/rush line who told us about his first opera. It was Don Giovanni at the Old Met, and he drove from Chicago, then waited in the standing room line for four hours. We discussed the last Figaro production at San Francisco Opera, and he mentioned a performance Aida which featured, in his words, beached whales as the lead singers. It was a charming morning, but there were no rush tickets, and he waited 2 hours because there was no sign indicating the unavailability of such tickets.