Monday, July 15, 2013
Opera Reception Party
After four consecutive days of opera, it was time for a huge reception party for the entire cast, orchestra, crew, and of course the people that gave the money fuel to make it go. At 6:30pm the speeches began in a hotel event room. Many thanks, many compliments, lots of bowing and introductions, everything done twice, once in Japanese and once in English. The wine and beer (and the notably expensive) champagne were free flowing and the opportunity was not lost. Alcohol and entertaining mirth seem to have an exponential exchange rate in the hands of singers. There was a talent show of liquid courage, well-rehearsed in advance and sprung forth in the limelight of a happy audience. Juggling, dragshows, chorus dances–it was hard to know which would be the grand final. But in the midst of distraction behind these closed doors, the caterers kept things under control, tapering off the dinner buffet at such a time, trickling in the desserts in a meager quantity until the last act finally came on: the producer announcing the end. In Japan there is a formal way to close a party called a sanbon-jime in which everyone in the room participates in a clapping pattern and cheer. We all did this together and were told we had ten minutes to finish our drinks (or get as many new ones as possible) before we had to leave. They only had the room reserved until 9pm and there was a baseball game that just got out so wouldn't we all like to get going to beat the crowds? Everyone neatly complied and the unfettered good cheer smiled its way into the lobby and into crowded trains and buses, dispersing among the sorry Hanshin Tigers fans. But it's ok. They'll get another chance tomorrow against the Giants and the people of the opera production will get to save face in the privacy of their own homes in a day of recovery. Until next time.