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Thread: How turned off are you by audience noise such as coughing and "premature" clapping?

  1. #136
    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    I remember one concert where all the "concert rules" were neglected... It was a chamber music concert, with violinist Janine Jansen who is sort of a star in The Netherlands, so in the audience were many novices to classical music and also classical concerts, which is very good.

    One of the works they played was Schuberts string quintet, which happens to be my all-time favourite chamber music piece. The audience was not quiet during the start of the performance, all kind of noises including cell phones... But then the slow movement. What happened then was pure magic. The audience got completely quiet. Everybody connected with the music and the performers. After the slow movement was finished the audience just went wild. Everybody started clapping, some people were already standing... The performers were truly moved by this raction, had completely lost their concentration and had to stop for a while.

    A very special concert indeed.

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  3. #137
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    Different cultures consider this differently. For example, I've attended many operas in Russia since 1996 and not only do the audiences stand, but they start applauding while the orchestra is still playing (and not only the last notes of the sustain, mind you), they always send people to give flowers to all the female principal performers (and sometimes certain of the male principals), and the entire cast is applauded for at least two or three bows. This is irrespective of the quality of the performance. I've never heard a boo and suspect that one who does that might end up with a pummeling. Because of the large number of young people at performances (even children and teenagers), that also means that there is very poor cellphone discipline--a lot of texting during performances (with the iPhone and iPad lighting up rows) and even some muttering into their suddenly ringing cells.

    You'd think this was really barbaric, but I am always impressed by the large number of young people in attendance at the most serious operas, and so I think this is just the trade-off for all these bad behaviors.
    Last edited by tyroneslothrop; Nov-28-2012 at 17:41.

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  5. #138
    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    Different cultures consider this differently. For example, I' ve attended many operas in Russia since 1996 and not only do the audiences stand, but they start applauding while the orchestra is still playing (and not only the last notes of the sustain, mind you), they always send people to give flowers to all the female principal performers (and sometimes certain of the male principals), and the entire cast is applauded for at least two or three bows. This is irrespective of the quality of the performance. I've never heard a boo and suspect that one who does that might end up with a pummeling. Because of the large number of young people at performances (even children and teenagers), that also means that there is very poor cellphone discipline--a lot of texting during performances (with the iPhone and iPad lighting up rows) and even some muttering into their suddenly ringing cells.

    You'd think this was really barbaric, but I am always impressed by the large number of young people in attendance at the most serious operas, and so I think this is just the trade-off for all these bad behaviors.
    It's always a good thing if people somehow connect to music. Thinking about it, I would prefer a noisier crowd that truely enjoys the music, than concert goers who keep quiet but don't connect with the music at all but just go through the motions of a regular concert.

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dongiovanni View Post
    It's always a good thing if people somehow connect to music. Thinking about it, I would prefer a noisier crowd that truely enjoys the music, than concert goers who keep quiet but don't connect with the music at all but just go through the motions of a regular concert.
    I don't. Honestly if I've paid huge bucks for my opera I want to get lost in it without endless distraction from my seat neighbour. I don't care if they are enjoying it or not, because I can only enjoy it if they are quiet and considerate.

    Tyrone's description explains to me why the worst behavioured person I have ever sat next to was a young Russian woman. At the time I wondered why she was actually there, because she paid abosolutely no attention to what was happening on stage, what with the phone and the vodka and the water bottle and the juicy nectarines and so on. But obviously this is par for the course.

    Remind me never to go to the Marrinsky.
    Natalie

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  9. #140
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    I don't. Honestly if I've paid huge bucks for my opera I want to get lost in it without endless distraction from my seat neighbour. I don't care if they are enjoying it or not, because I can only enjoy it if they are quiet and considerate.
    Well, see if I offer you any canapés or vol-au-vent next time!

    624px-Vol-au-vent-1.jpg
    Last edited by KenOC; Nov-28-2012 at 20:01.


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  11. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Tyrone's description explains to me why the worst behavioured person I have ever sat next to was a young Russian woman. At the time I wondered why she was actually there, because she paid abosolutely no attention to what was happening on stage, what with the phone and the vodka and the water bottle and the juicy nectarines and so on. But obviously this is par for the course.
    Oh, and I had even forgotten to mention the worst thing of all--the talking during the opera! At the opera last Tuesday, my wife had to tell both the row in front of us and the one behind us in the parterre to shut up!

    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Remind me never to go to the Marrinsky.
    Sad, because the Mariinskiy is gorgeous and you'd get a chance to see Gergiev is his natural element!

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  13. #142
    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    I don't. Honestly if I've paid huge bucks for my opera I want to get lost in it without endless distraction from my seat neighbour. I don't care if they are enjoying it or not, because I can only enjoy it if they are quiet and considerate.
    I get that. Of course there is a limit in being annyoing and perfectly quiet...

    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Tyrone's description explains to me why the worst behavioured person I have ever sat next to was a young Russian woman. At the time I wondered why she was actually there, because she paid abosolutely no attention to what was happening on stage, what with the phone and the vodka and the water bottle and the juicy nectarines and so on. But obviously this is par for the course.

    Remind me never to go to the Marrinsky.
    Some time ago I went to a concert by the orchestra of the Marrinsky with Gergiev on tour (this concert was in the Netherlands), and there was a group of russians, (groupies of Gergiev who knows) being very annoying when it appeared they were in the wrong seats. The very polite lady of the converthall had to go for backup... they would simply not move. Sadly I have seen this behavior with Russians before in different places.

    The concert by the way, was very good. The sound of that orchestra is just outstanding, and live it was amazing to hear. They played Tchaikovsky, Romeo&Juliet and the Manfred symphony, some Prokofieff excerpts from Romeo&Juliet (wow ! best I ever heard that) and Stravinsky Firebird.
    Last edited by Dongiovanni; Nov-30-2012 at 16:35.

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Interesting incident at the end of 'Missa Solemnis' from Segerstrom Hall. And Nicolas Roberston was right, Elisabeth Meister mentioned the incident in her blog.

    At least whoever shouted out, waited a few seconds first.
    Ann

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    At least whoever shouted out, waited a few seconds first.
    This concert was on my home turf. More often somebody will call out, "Next time play something you know!"


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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dongiovanni View Post
    Some time ago I went to a concert by the orchestra of the Marrinsky with Gergiev on tour (this concert was in the Netherlands), and there was a group of russians, (groupies of Gergiev who knows) being very annoying when it appeared they were in the wrong seats. The very polite lady of the converthall had to go for backup... they would simply not move. Sadly I have seen this behavior with Russians before in different places.
    The Russian woman with the phone and nectarines came halfway through and sat in empty seat next to me half way through. And she refused to stop texting and making noise etc when I asked her to. Obviously just a completely different way of behaving at concerts. I ended up using my mercifully large programme as a sort of shield against the side of my face between me and her.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Jessica Duchen - 'getting tough on blackberry man'. I agree. The only way is to boot them out.
    Ann

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    Senior Member Cavaradossi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Jessica Duchen - 'getting tough on blackberry man'. I agree. The only way is to boot them out.
    Annie, we left out one fun detail from our respective visits to the Zurich Opera House: as a gentle, wordless, multi-lingual cell phone reminder before curtain, the percussion player in the orchestra pit played a live version of that Apple "bamboo" ringtone on the xylophone. So typically Swiss: effective and efficient.

    I liked the vigiliance of the well-trained and formidable ushers at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman. When the lights went down, they would walk the aisle like a flight attendant monitoring each row for the glow of illicit cell phones. Offenders were sought out, exposed, chastised and made an example of with the glare of a bright halogen flashlight in their face.
    Last edited by Cavaradossi; Nov-30-2012 at 22:25.

  20. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Jessica Duchen - 'getting tough on blackberry man'. I agree. The only way is to boot them out.
    Actually, I find that much worse than "Blackberry man" is "iPhone woman/girl". OK, don't mean to be sexist (my wife has an iPhone--but perhaps I am saying this because of her!!!).

    But seriously, being a businessperson myself, I tend to see the few remaining Blackberry hold-outs as being well-behaved and polite in general. However, iPhone users (both men and women) seem to have serious self-control issues!
    Last edited by tyroneslothrop; Dec-01-2012 at 00:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    The Russian woman with the phone and nectarines came halfway through and sat in empty seat next to me half way through. And she refused to stop texting and making noise etc when I asked her to. Obviously just a completely different way of behaving at concerts. I ended up using my mercifully large programme as a sort of shield against the side of my face between me and her.
    Sadly this is typical. Sometimes, I've found that they will even feign an inability to understand English even when in America!

    I have taken to yelling at them in Russian. This usually stuns them into (temporary) silence. Of course, it is much more effective when my wife is around. She can in 10-15 well chosen words in Russian, cut them to their core and she is not shy to do this (as she did in silencing two rows at the opera house last Tuesday)!

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  23. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dongiovanni View Post
    Some time ago I went to a concert by the orchestra of the Marrinsky with Gergiev on tour (this concert was in the Netherlands), and there was a group of russians, (groupies of Gergiev who knows) being very annoying when it appeared they were in the wrong seats. The very polite lady of the converthall had to go for backup... they would simply not move. Sadly I have seen this behavior with Russians before in different places.
    Having been in and out of Russia for the last 19 years and having spent 70+ cumulative months there, I'd have to say, I now sadly accept this as "cultural ignorance" on their part. Or if I want to be kinder, I mentally substitute for "ignorance", "naiveté".

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