First, let me confess, I cry during Onstar commercials. I don’t sob mind you – but a tear is likely to run down my check. The woman sounds old and afraid. Her car is off the road and the airbag has deployed. It sounds serious. It’s a hormonal thing. As I ebb to old age, I’m pretty sure it will abate.
So when I sat in the Reduta Hall, it was no surprise I had a tear in my eye. We’ve watched the external renovation for nearly five months. The building is a concrete wedding cake covered with plaster flowers, instruments, all painted in pastels. It’s spectacular. Opening night has been keenly anticipated.
In January, after a two year renovation, the Reduta is back. Opening night sold out. We nabbed two coveted seats to the next concert. Bratislava turned out in support. The concert crowd is elegant, refined, beautifully dressed and coiffed.
The hall is surreal – a stark white and gold leaf interior. The wide stone steps and carved balistrade leads upstairs to the hall. The back wall of the performance hall is covered by a massive organ which goes from stage floor to ceiling. Before its renovation, it was known to have the best acoustics in Central Europe.
As the orchestra takes the stage and hits their warm up notes, it is obvious the acoustics are still perfect – at least to my untrained ear. It’s a rich sound like none I’ve heard in other concert halls – perhaps augmented by it’s comparatively small size. The walls and ceilings are covered with plaster swans, flowers, castles (the symbol of Bratislava), and musical instruments. Ornate brass carved plates surround the crystal chandeler bases. Balconies extend over the lower hall – suitable for an emperor or empress.
Music is revered here. Multiple operas and symphony halls hold a performance most nights. Bethovan’s 6th (Pastoral) and Mozart’s 41st are the program. It’s an hour an a half – with a break between symphonies. A perfect amount of time for me. A perfect night. Our tickets – the most expensive sold – are 13 euro each (roughly 17 US dollars).
The man next to me sniffs. He wipes his eyes with his sleeve. I wonder if he also cries during the OnStar commercials. Or if this night is truely as perfect for him as it has been for me.
Categories: Insiders Bratislava