Florence III: Opening Night Continued
New Generation Festival-Night I
I find the second half of the opera to be much more enjoyable than the first and once the show ends, I go in search of the restroom. When I come out, I make my way to the room where a Jazz band is set up for the next phase of the night’s entertainment. The singer, Brianna Thomas is amazing.
I am standing alone at first but then I feel the urge to search for water and I make my way to the bar area where I ask for a cup. The bartender asks if I have a ticket (which I don’t) and as I’m about to ask how to get one he tells me, “For you, I close my eyes” then hands me a cup of water.
With my water in hand I stand toward the back of the room sipping slowly and a girl walks up to me asking if I’m with the band. I say no and a conversation unfolds. She tells me that she is a member of the festival’s orchestra and will be playing during tomorrow’s concert. We also talk about the soloist that they’ll be accompanying, Charlie Siem, and she tells me that she had never heard of him until he came strolling into practice one day with his shirt unbuttoned pretty low, playing the violin. This comment makes me laugh and I wonder aloud if this was a European thing to which she shrugs her shoulders, raises her eyebrows, and states, “He’s British.”
While we are talking, a guy walks up to us and Carly introduces him as the painter or artist for the festival. He is nice, as well as British, and his name is Lewis. For some reason, I ask him about the spelling of his first name and he makes an offhand comment about how his parents gave him a whole bunch of names and once again, I burst out into laughter.
At some point Carly leaves to get a drink and Lewis tells me about his bar painting series which sounds pretty cool and asks if I’d be available to sit down for a sketch sometime during my stay in Florence. I settle on Saturday and we make our way toward the front of the stage.
Lewis introduces me to some of the members of a band that had played during the private dinner earlier. Their names are Harry and Ben. Harry mentions that the drummer of the Jazz band currently playing on stage is world-renowned and he asks me about the DC music scene. I tell him to look up Go Go music.
Once the Jazz band onstage wraps up, a DJ comes on and a dance party begins.
I am standing to the side once again when a girl with some nice elbow-length gloves, which I’d noticed earlier in the restroom, turns around to me and asks, “Didn’t I see you in the bathroom earlier?” I answer in the affirmative, compliment her gloves, and we start dancing together.
Right as her friend, Laura, joins us, the girl with the gloves, Elizabeth is whisked away by a guy in a mask. Laura gets a drink and we talk for a while before exchanging information so we can keep in touch in case I wanted to join them for an activity sometime while in Florence.
Carly comes by soon after and whisks me onto the dance floor where I dance for a bit more before deciding to call it a night.
On my way out, a guy sitting at the ticket booth asks if I’m already leaving and I reply that I am but I’ll be back tomorrow evening. He says, “Okay, you are forgiven” which makes me laugh and as I get to the gate I run into Laura and Elizabeth. They are arranging for a cab and I wish them goodnight but not before they make sure I am okay getting back in by myself which is thoughtful and sweet.
All in all, it was a great night. Although I went alone to the New Generation Festival and I felt a bit out of place, especially at the beginning, I got to meet some great people. I was able to go forth and conquer and I’m proud of myself for being steadfast and brave.