The Opera House!
By Kazuya Muto
Since I had time, I decided to wander around the station, and I was surprised to meet Robert on the street. He was also wearing a suit without tie, which was a great relief.
We got on the train and chatted about our countries' political systems. He talked about Germany's first female chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the German election system. He talked about what the former East Germany is like now, because he was born there. I learned a lot from him, and admired him for knowing so much about his own country. I'm always aware of how ignorant I am about my own country when I try to tell people about Japan.
We chatted all the way to the station nearest to the Opera House, but fell silent as we got off the train and took in the breathtakingly beautiful view of Sydney Harbor spread out before us at night. We walked toward the Opera House, and we noticed the greater number of fashionable people in stylish clothes.
We got our tickets and stepped into the Concert Hall. I gasped. It was magnificent, extraordinary! My heart beat faster and faster as we looked for our seats. We were in the middle of the second row.
The lights dimmed and a spotlight lit up the stage. The musicians and the conductor walked gracefully onto the stage. The hall resounded with applause. The musicians acknowledged the audience, the conductor readied his baton, and a hush fell over the hall. And so the "Four Seasons" began.
The "Four Seasons": Everyone's heard it before. I found all my attention focused on the players. The seats in the second row were the best seats for me. I could see the musicians' facial expressions, I could feel them breathing, and I felt in harmony with their playing. I don't think I remembered to blink until intermission.
During intermission, I drank some champagne. (In Australia, people can start drinking alcohol from when they are 18). Drinking champagne like that after listening to classical music, I felt like an English nobleman from a time long past. I looked around. There were people there of all ages. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Occasionally, a woman in a sexy dress would catch my eye.
The intermission ended and the second half of the concert soon started. This time, a flutist joined the orchestra. He was a jocular-looking man with a great beard, and I wondered how he would be able to play with that beard. But I had no need to worry. He played beautifully.
The concert lasted about two hours and a half, and after the concert, we walked around Circular Quay, which is the part of Sydney Harbor next to the Opera House. There are a lot of swanky, up-market places around there, but we were students and we didn't have much money, so we ended up going to McDonald's. There the time slipped by unnoticed as we talked about how great the experience had been.
Shukan ST: June 23, 2006
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