Once in a lifetime

Am home from Manhattan, and admittedly rather downhearted about it. As nice as Boston, Seattle, Beverly Hills and Washington, DC, are, there’s really no place like Manhattan. Will not be able to go there for a good while after this, as will begin training for new job tomorrow morning, and consequently will start working.

The Morricone concerts were fabulous, even though Maestro Ennio Morricone himself is, as Rob put it, ‘a cranky old man I want to throw rocks at’. He’s 78 years old, Italian, doesn’t speak a word of English, and extremely temperamental. He had an interpreter with him the entire time, and she was the closest the choir got to communicating with him. The entire crew and orchestra flew in from Italy, including the opera singer who had a solo part in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Felt rather intimidated at times, especially because Professor Rosenbaum’s Canticum Novum Singers and New York Virtuoso Singers were, as usual, rather high-and-mighty towards the UB Choir.

Arrived in Manhattan on Tuesday, after which went to drop luggage off at hotel, the Regency Inn & Suites on 34th St and Seventh Ave, then went to Chinatown to eat and back to Herald Square to walk around the stores until it was time to check in. After checking in, went to Macy’s to look for a decent black dress to wear for the concerts, and thankfully was able to find one, which am returning to the Macy’s in Boulevard Mall as will not need a long black dress for at least another five years or so.

On Wednesday was able to go on the usual Fifth Ave rounds at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, and the other designer stores. Also went on the hunt for the Christian Louboutin shoes which am still on the waitlist for because they haven’t arrived from Paris yet, but was able to try on another pair of similar 5-inch heels, which the delightfully gay salesman said were ‘so sex!’ Then had to go back to Fifth Ave on Thursday to pick up a number of items which was waitlisted for at Louis Vuitton, and after dropping them off back in the hotel, went down to Bloomingdales on Lexington Ave and browsed around before meeting the choir for the first rehearsal at the United Nations.

The first rehearsal turned out to be a mild disaster, as nobody knew what to expect from Ennio Morricone, who in turn expected the choir to anticipate what he wanted. Professor Rosenbaum was freaking out (and for the first time since joining the choir three years ago, I heard him say fuck) and trying to calm Morricone down. Clearly it didn’t matter that the UN General Assembly Hall was not built for performances of any sort, and clearly it didn’t matter that the choir couldn’t hear one another and therefore kept getting lost and dropping in pitch.

On Friday, went back Lexington and Third Avenues to browse the stores before going back to the UN for the rehearsal and concert. It was agonizing standing on stage the entire time waiting to sing, and when it was over the audience applauded Morricone so much that he had to give two encores. Then yesterday, met up with Natalie and Teresa from the choir for lunch before going to Radio City Music Hall for the soundcheck. Thankfully, there were chairs onstage for the choir to sit whenever we didn’t have to sing, so it wasn’t as torturous as it had been on Friday. Once again, the audience applauded so tumultuously and were so adamantly standing up that Morricone had to give three encores that time.

So it’s all over now. Went to thank Professor Rosenbaum before leaving Radio City for the last three years in Choir, and when he heard that I might not be going back to Choir, he gave me a hug. Love Professor Rosenbaum.

Took the 11AM flight back to Buffalo today, and Rob was on it too, because after trucking down to Manhattan in the bus with the rest of the choir on Thursday, he refused to go back with them. Arrived at a little past noon, and am now trying to stop pretending that am still a student and not about to join the rat race all too soon.

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