December in Retrospect:
Having a deep affinity for symphonic and orchestral music, I signed up for the NOISE program which allows students to purchase tickets for specific concerts for under £5. I highly recommend this to any and all students who are interested in attending concerts performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra or the London Symphony Orchestra. I have also signed up for the Student Standby program with the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden which allows students to attend the opera for as little as £10. Considering that most opera patrons pay an average of £75 to £150 a seat, the student price is an absolute steal. I decided that before I went home for the new year (I spent Christmas in London), I would look into attending one last concert or production before I left. Unfortunately, I had to complete a rather difficult essay during the last week before the end of the term which coincided with the last week of concerts in London for LPO and LSO before their holiday break. I concluded that I would have to wait until I returned to London to catch another concert.
After routinely checking my email, I stumbled upon a Student Standby offer to attend Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable which was being performed on the day the earth was supposed to end so I decided that it would be the perfect way to spend my last day 🙂 I knew little about Meyerbeer and had never seen any of his operas so, like a diligent opera patron, I read the synopsis beforehand. I put on my best dress and made my way to the hall. I settled into my seat which was situated in the Orchestra Stalls Circle (I highly recommend sitting in this area) and eavesdropped on the many conversations of the other patrons nearby. This was how I discovered that the opera would last for four hours which is not a problem if you enjoy it. It was not that I disliked Meyerbeer overall but I definitely would not attend Robert le Diable again. The ballet within the opera consisted of Dancing Zombie Nuns that were excruciating provocative which seemed rather out of place. I would also argue that it was less of a ballet and more of choreographed animal mating ritual.
After my Friday night at the opera, I decided to dedicate my Saturday to Winter Wonderland. I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed. I suppose I would have enjoyed myself more if I liked to ride the rides or eat the food but overall I think it would have been more fun with my nephew. I then took a stroll in Hyde Park and eventually made my way home.
The event that I had anticipated the most was the Services of Lessons and Carols at Westminster Abbey. Despite your religious beliefs, the Westminster Boys Choir are worth hearing live. The experience of listening to their angelic voices fill the cathedral was awe-inspiring and nearly moved me to tears. I was fortunate enough to have tickets for both Christmas Eve and the day before. Going twice did not detract from my overall experience. In fact, it was better the second time.