Every night(but one) at the Proms
Saturday night at the Proms. Some whale music having its first(and hopefully last) performance, delightful Mahler songs and the heroic Mozart Mass in C. Cheap seats (£17)up at the top of the magnificent Albert Hall and another reason why August in London makes so much sense.
Vivien texted her pal in the pit, we saw her and waved. This pal is a prommer of some distinction. A successful business women, an accomplished musician etc she has been going to these concerts for 30 years. She notes that there are others who have been going far longer.
She does admit there are some regulars who have personal hygiene issues which mean most try and avoid. For those who feel that the pit is full of odd balls she admits there seems to be a cross over between those who compile cross words and promenaders. There is the man who comes everyday,even at weekends, in a three piece and brief case. There is another who only wears cycling kit. Many take musical scores and turn the pages during the perfomance.But on one thing they are all agreed ,there is no better place.
Nevertheless, smelly people who are good at crosswords and can read music, a bit of an acquired taste.
“I have sat in the Royal Box but its a better sound and experience in the pit. Also the soloists do strike up a relationship with the promenaders they know we are aficionados, we know and we care and they respond to us. Many of us pay £150 for opera seats but this is where we want to be at the Proms.” At £6 a throw it is rumoured that there are homeless stretching out in the pit.
But our friend has given up the great showcase. The Last Night of the Proms. “Its no longer an end of term experience,there are too many there who just want to tick a box. Goodness last year they threw knickers at the tenor.” Frankly anything is better than a premier of whale music, but even she says,”New pieces should be limited in length”