Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ten Pounds or $3,185.25

(I originally planned to post this the week I went to the Tony Awards... but that week got kind of busy and this lingered a little too long. For anyone who was waiting, my apologies for the extended delay).

The 2009-10 Cleveland Orchestra Severance Hall Season is over; with the exception of the opera, I didn't miss a season weekend and I managed to fit in most of the other programs as well. At the beginning of the season I didn't intend to attend every concert offering--I went to a concert, then another concert, then another just sort of happened. At the end of a road a I hadn't expected to take mere eight months ago, I find myself looking back trying to quantify the uncountable.

Thirty Four. The number of individual Cleveland Orchestra concerts blogged about between Opening Night and Composers Connect. The number of people met at those concerts--and experiences shared--innumerable.

Ten Pounds, give or take a few ounces. The weight of a season's worth of program books. Like the performances, some were individually lighter while others were much heavier.

Three Thousand One Hundred Eighty Five Dollars and Twenty Five Cents. The total amount paid, give or take, for one ticket per concert and parking. (add $120 for concessions and tips). I'm reasonably positive that aside from my mortgage payments this has been my single largest expense category. Is there anything I would have rather spent that money on? Not anything that comes to mind. Anything with better value? Doubtful.

One Hundred Six Hours. Approximate time spent in Severance Hall this season; of course incomparable to the time spent by the musicians of the orchestra.

The beautiful thing about live performance -- not just the Cleveland Orchestra -- and art in general is that there is no tangible gain from the investment; the gain is purely intrinsic: While (aside from 34 ticket stubs and 10 pounds of program books) I don't have anything tangible, the music has stirred emotion, enlivened, entertained, educated, and enhanced my quality of life; indeed, one presumes, that of all listeners.

I've been trying to ask myself what my favorite concert was, and it's a difficult question to answer: There were certainly some that I didn't care for and some that more entertainment was derived from, but to pick "A" concert is difficult. The first Fridays@7 was awesome; Ashkenazy's Pictures at an Exhibition was beautiful; all of the Musically Speaking concerts were enlightening; the Composers Connect was adventuresome. I view my attendance at Cleveland Orchestra concerts as a vehicle for discovery and, truly, some discovery came out of every concert, and in that vein I do not think that it is possible--or proper--to choose one favorite; we'll just leave it as a great season.

And the best part? The Blossom Season begins in just a few days and the next Severance season isn't that far behind.


No comments:

Post a Comment