Friday, 29 October 2010
Cambridge Zoology Museum- Bonesong (New Student Opera)
I knew this would sell out, I could sense it. The 400 confirmed facebook guests may have had something to do with my instinct...but anxiety dreams and predictions aside I was going to go to the Zoology museum in the dark and rain, and try.
'in the darks halls of the Museum of Zoology
long after closing time
an underground opera club night.'
It all just sounded too tantalisingly dark, too much like childhood nightmare turned bitter fantasy, to be missed. And the papers just kept going on and on about it, clearly, a little bit too much. Capacity was 195 people and with 'guestlist' VIPS continually ushered to the front it became clear that hundreds of people were going to be turned away.
Oh the ache of being just so close, and yet just so far...
I held out until the very last second of orchestral tuning, the colossal skeleton of a Whale illuminated above my head as consolation. As people began peeling away one man in blue overalls could be distantly heard suggesting an alternative viewpoint. With £3 still in my purse I walked around the side of the building, up some concrete stairs. Now level with the mammoth whale, I pressed my face up against the glass and looked down upon a flickering collage of projections. I felt like a child from my birds-eye-view, lusting after things which are faraway and adult. One day... I felt a kind of triumph countered with the stabs of jealousy I recognised as I saw people I knew down below, with programmes, friends and drinks from the bar.
Another kind of Opera was witnessed up here; it was communal and participatory as we huddled against the cold, vast window panes and partly imagined the story. Were they singing in English? All was unintelligible. In the soft musical interludes and the moments of quiet, subtle anticipation we heard only the silence of expectation fogging up the glass. It became a mime, with brief glimpses of Opera appearing from between the animal skeletons and specimen cases...at the end we decided, it must have been good, they are clapping a lot, and walked away in to the empty streets, half-satiated, knowing that we had made a valiant effort to witness something vibrant and new.