17th edition of a Palm Springs tradition
April 12, 2015 | The Palm Springs Opera Guild presented Opera in the Park on Sunday. As usual it was a day for fine music, people-watching, eating, drinking, and basking in a superlative spring day in the park.
The usual suspects were down to two — me and Bob; Réal had to work, and Ken no longer attends. As usual, we showed up early so as to see the rehearsal with a mid-morning snack of coffee and muffins.
Also as usual, Phil was the gentil organisateur who came at the crack of stupid to claim prime real estate for the large group by spreading quilts and standing guard.
As the rehearsal went on, more and more people came to claim their spots under the two gigantic tents set up in front of the stage, a privilege for which they pay. (In 2014 each square, seating 6 people, went for $150, bring your own chairs.) We are definitely among the hoi polloi, so we claim space just outside the tent under a big tree. We get location and shade for free! But when they come around at intermission with their hats, I do not shirk from making a donation.
Last year we happened to be next to a square that had engaged the services of a caterer at whose incompetence we truly marveled. She was always putting stuff on the table, taking it off, rearranging it, etc. Wouldn't you know, the same caterer was serving the same square this year, and she hadn't learned anything it seems. Whereas the caterer in the next square brought everything already plated, set up the table and was done in about 10 minutes, this one (see above) busied herself with prep work that should have been done back in the kitchen. The person sitting next to me turned and said, "I don't understand why anybody would hire this caterer." Preach!
By concert time, the spaces under the tents were fully occupied and the crowd spread out over much of the park. A really good sound system meant that people throughout the park could still enjoy the music.
We were also treated to a prime example of the entitlement attitude writ large. Yellow tape was strung all along the edge of the paved parking lot to prevent people from driving on or parking on the grass. There was no doubt about the intent: Keep off the grass with your car! However, a Toyota with Oregon license plates soon drove across the grass to the tent, where a guy got out to unload his chairs, tables, and other accoutrements. He then drove his car back across the grass to park under the shade of a big tree. It should have been towed away!
Only one of the performers this year was in previous concerts. No matter — these people were magnificent, something you could predict from their glittering resumes (see Bios).
Last updated on Apr 29, 2016