Friday, September 23, 2011

Knickers in Knots

Go ahead, ask me if I’ve ever had a dressing room before last night?

Uh, no.

I was asked to be Master of Ceremonies for a gala concert to raise funds for the bursary and financial aid programs at my former college. The event took place at Montreal’s brand new Maison symphonique. The concert hall is so new that you’re breathing in sawdust as you wait in the wings between acts!

During "mic" check yesterday afternoon, I made the mistake of referring to the venue as “Place des Arts” and was immediately corrected by the sound guy at the back of the hall. Make a note, they are two separate entities.

Knickers in knots!

The event featured performances by current and former music students. I had the pleasure of meeting some talented people, including mezzo soprano, Annamaria Popescu, who I hope to have on our own interview show soon.

With Jamie Gelfand on piano, I sang “The Way We Were”, although as we yakked it up on-stage, I’m pretty sure he gave me a hard time over my song choice!

I knew him as Jamie, the wild-haired, frisbee-wielding free spirit bounding across the school lawn! Still every bit the immensely talented pianist, he’s now known, rather primly, as Mr. James Gelfand. After casually referring to him as “Jamie” during his on-stage introduction, he returned the favor and hollered back at me, with some sting, “Richie”, as I exited stage right.

Knickers in knots!

The best part was having Tristan and Susan there. I could see them fidgeting a little during less entertaining numbers, but it was nice to see their familiar faces each time I scanned the crowd from backstage. They also provided candid and much-appreciated reviews afterwards.

I left with a card of thanks from the director-general of Marianopolis, who we had the pleasure of chatting with after the show.

Although we had been speaking beforehand and had gone over last-minute changes, moments before showtime, the school's director of development and alumni affairs, found me waiting in the wings backstage and explained to me, wide-eyed, gasping for air and brow glistening, that he'd spent the last twenty minutes looking for me. Sorry about that, Barth.

Knickers in knots!

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