A thoroughly enjoyable evening. The musical evening was only marred by my feeling short changed on by the unexplained program change that effectively downgraded the promised experience
Starting with Desert
Plum, apricot and ginger pie in Earth and Ocean. The first 3 desert wines we requested from the menu were not in stock. After these 3 attempts at ordering via the waitress the wine waiter came over. I suggested that he take the trouble to inform the waitresses which of the menu items were unavailable. Spot the spikiness. I tried to smile while making this suggestion. The wine waiter spontaneously offered several reasons for not having the listed wines in stock. I wasn’t really interested in disruptions to his business processes, he should tell the waitresses what is not available. Sensing the depth of passion behind the Wendy Paddington Bear stare the wine waiter recovered ground by suggesting that he pick on our behalf and charge us the price of our original choice (the cheapest on the list).
- Good deal.
- We gladly accepted.
- Excellent food.
- Friendly staff.
- Decently small portions.
Seattle symphony selection of Gershwin compositions
The conductor, Rudi Schlegel, provided a semi-formal verbal introduction for each piece to compensate for the lack of performance program notes. He announced that “I got rythm” had been replaced in the program and the audience simultaneously groaned. We were never told why they pulled this obvious audience pleaser.
We started with a plucky rumba, the Cuban overture, inspired by Gershwin’s stay in Havanna. Good stuff. The ‘Porgy and Bess’ symphonic picture appeared to be a patchwork of sections from different tunes within the Opera of that name. I prefer being guided gently through a single composition than listening to compilation of musical highlights. Not my taste.
The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Stewart Goodyear’s interpretation of a Rhapsody in Blue. Vibrant, then gentle, fast then slow, Stewart’s face and whole body flowing with the music. Captivating. I didn’t want it to end. After 3 applause-prompted curtain calls Stewart played an encore. Twinkling notes of a soft Embracable you. After the interval, the replacement for “I got rythm’ was a short, sweet ‘promenade’ performed without Stewart Goodyear. Urgh. More like a weak apology than a replacement.
The actual Orchestra on stage are not steeply tiered. This makes it virtually impossible for the people in the first 8 rows of seating in the stalls to see the brass sections, percussion, reeds and Banjo. Actually we could see the Banjo by twisting our necks to look underneath the Piano. The stalls seats after about row f are steeply staggered, this enables attendees to see more of the orchestra. For this reason I’d recommend seats towards the back of the stalls or in the gods. This photograph is taken from row ‘f’ looking back towards the gods: