Last night we added a little culture to our lives, which meant I had to change out of shorts, and attended the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra’s opening-night performance of Beethoven’s Symphony Number 9 at the Teatro Peon Contreras in the heart of Merida’s Centro Historico.
When we had purchased our tickets in mid-January there were very few seats remaining, meaning we were left with a few scattered options on the third balcony, which were made up of boxes with two rows of three seats each. We had no idea what to choose, as we had never been and had no idea what the seat layout was like (Were the second row elevated over the first? What are the viewing angles in the second row like, if they even exist at all? And so on…) , so we opted to follow the advice of the ticket lady, who put us in the front row of one of the boxes to the left of the stage.
Lucky for us, ticket lady knew her stuff, as when we arrived the seats were just two rows of chairs crammed into a tiny little square made up of waist-high walls, which would have been more accommodating for four chairs rather than six. We had shown up just before show time (it is surprisingly difficult to find parking for Valentina’s dad’s giant Ram truck in a historical area with roads barely wide enough for horses) and the row behind us was already filled with three concert goers, so it took some cajoling to squeeze past them to our seats in the front row. When we sat in our chairs however, we could not see the stage, we had to lean forward onto the ledge to see it. So, the people in the row behind us enjoyed the sweet sounds of Beethoven to the view of my meticulously finger-combed hair on the back of my head. Poor sods could not even see the stage when they stood, which means they missed out on the rhythmic genius that was the maestro’s wand-thing.
Overall, the performance was quite good and rather enjoyable, even if it was in Spanish, and the theatre itself was stylish. If you wish to soak up the soothing sounds of Beethoven’s Symphony Number 9, here is a the London Symphony Orchestra’s 1960 performance:
And of course, after any good orchestral performance, you go for late-night tacos…
Just look at that delicious al pastor, which, as I ate, was accompanied by the beautiful Beethoven crescendo from earlier in the evening playing through my mind.