On March 26th, 2017 I made the biggest concert mistake of this mammoth concert-going career of mine and completely bloopered myself straight out of a unique, nearly once-in-a-lifetime performance. I suppose having just a single, solitary bonehead blemish on my ticket-record isn’t so bad in the grand scheme of things, but man-oh-man I wish I hadn’t missed this show.
A little background: I had heard long before that a The Wall opera was in the works, slated to make it’s debut run in Montreal. When the official opening date was announced I was very pleased to see that the shows would be conducted by Alain Trudel, a conductor I’ve worked with for years through our association with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. I asked Alain about the show at a rehearsal and he positively gushed. The excitement he had for the project was palpable. He told me that it wasn’t an operatic version of The Wall, rather it was an opera based on the story behind one of the greatest rock operas ever recorded. The story was great, he said, the soloists were fantastic, the music and the libretto were all new and out-of-this world. Simply put he couldn’t wait for opening night, and I couldn’t wait for closing night (the night I had tickets for…or so we thought).
It was to be three of us driving to Montreal together for the show, myself, my friend PERSON A and my other friend PERSON B. It so happened that the night before the show we were all together at PERSON B’s apartment celebrating his or her birthday. At some point mid-party the three of us quickly made our plans for the following day.
The actual hard-copy tickets (of which one is reproduced for you here) were at my house. PERSON A quickly checked his or her phone and reported that the show started at 8pm the next night. Great; I had a project I was trying to finish by 2pm the next day, we could leave as soon as I finished. With our plan made we all settled back in and had a great time continuing our celebration of the anniversary of the birth of PERSON B.
The next day I worked vigorously and managed to get the job I needed to finish finished bang-on at 2pm. Pleased with my immaculate timing I grabbed the opera tickets and raced towards the door. As I was heading down the stairs I afforded a quick glance at the tickets and almost died with horror.
The opera was actually scheduled to start at 2pm not 8pm! Omigod. I ran, I screamed, I gnashed my teeth and I looked again and still the ticket read 14:00. My mind swirled, I triple-checked my knowledge of the 24-hour clock, my heart couldn’t decide whether to beat itself to death or to just drop everything and take a long, extended break.
I slunk to the telephone with a heavy soul and called my friends. They were kind and promised not to hate me, at least not as much as I did.
In a shockingly short amount of time I figured out what had gone wrong. While we had indeed purchased tickets to the last show of the run, a string of sold-out dates had encouraged the promoters to tack on an extra date at the end. So when PERSON A checked the internet he (or she) found that the last date of the run did indeed start at 8pm. The fact that this was a new date that didn’t jive with our date had escaped his (or her) attention.
And while that error (and the fact that I’m hiding my friend’s identities) suggests that I might not feel completely, solely 100% responsible for this musical charade, the fact is that the tickets were in my possession, so I am.
And man, it still hurts.
To add a twinge of insult to this injury, of course the next time I saw Maestro Trudel I had to sheepishly explain my boneheadedness. I wanted so badly to follow it up with much insisting that this just isn’t like me, I go to hundreds of concerts and nothing like this has ever, ever happened before but I couldn’t, and I’m sure to him I remain a bonehead.
(It turned out he was conducting the opera again the following summer in Ohio. I had hotels booked, found some other shows to go to along the way, and was hoping to make a trip out of it. That’s how much missing this bugged me. Alas, I ended up bailing at pretty much the last minute, which begs the question: what’s happening to me?)