Thursday night we attended the 11th annual Minnesota Orchestra Concert down by Lake Winona, which officially opens the 2017 Beethoven Festival. It was a delightful concert, and got me thinking about some differences between Outdoor and Indoor Concerts:
- There may be a little rain an hour prior to concert, but hey, it blows over. (This has happened for the past two years.) The breeze makes the musicians find a way to secure their music to the stand.
- You bring your own chairs (or blanket), a picnic supper, and have a glass of beer/wine if you are discreet.
- The orchestra is seated on a platform, and you are on the ground below, so for the most part you can only see the string players. (It would be a good idea for the horns to stand when they have a prominent part, but I haven’t told them this yet.)
- A little girl in a green dress runs around (and around…) her parents’ chairs during the Tchaikowsky Polonaise (and beyond). Kids are swinging as high as they can on the adjacent playground, while the orchestra plays three of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances.
- You can kick of your shoes and let your feet feel the grass.
- You get to watch a really cool sunset while listening to the music.
- You can hum along with John Williams’ Raiders of the Lost Ark theme and no one minds.
- If you see someone you know, you can wave wildly, and easily find them after the concert ends.
- Weather is not an issue once you are in the venue. Musicians’ music usually stays put on its stand.
- You have prepaid seating; refreshments can be purchased at Intermission, and must be consumed before returning to the auditorium.
- The venue is designed so that much of the audience is looking down on the performers, and can see most of the players.
- Children are regularly hushed and shushed throughout the concert, and will run around only at Intermission.
- It’s probably best to leave your shoes on your feet… they’re hard to find in the dark if you need them.
- The lights will go down when the music starts playing, and you will sit in the dark.
- If you talk or sing during the concert, you will most likely get stern looks from those around you.
- If you see someone you know, give a polite wave and hope they see you; perhaps you will find each other in the milling crowd at Intermission
When and where was the last outdoor performance you remember attending?