by Karen Cleveland
Ok, it’s not that salacious (as if I’d share the good stuff) but not too long ago, I was the jerk who left her cell phone on at the symphony. It was particularly embarrassing as I was sitting near the front and for the first few chimes, I was sure someone else was the culprit (and naturally, gave a soft scoff to relay ‘honestly, who leaves their phone on at the symphony’, until I realized the pariah was in fact, me).
Which got me thinking, what else not to do at the symphony! The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is a gem in the city – tickets are reasonable, and it can be a perfect reprieve. You simply cannot exit there stressed: it is blissfully tranquil. Before you go, some things to note:
· Arrive a bit early, particularly if you’re picking up your tickets, it can take some time to go through the motions and into your seat.
· If you arrive late, when until you hear the crowd break for applause, then go grab your seat.
· Don’t chatter through the performance.
· Clap at the end of the symphony, not in between the individual sets (or motions, as they are properly referred to). You can either check out the program, or a good rule is to wait until the conductor has put down the baton and turned around to face the crowd for a cue. Or just clap when everyone else does.
· Yes, the cello long notes may be so relaxing that you fall into a blissful snooze – NO! This is allowed only if you are over eighty; in this case it’s perfectly acceptable.
· What to wear? Although casual office makes the cut, take the opportunity to enjoy the ritual of dressing up. A string of pearls, real or not – always seem to do the trick.
· You aren’t watching a blockbuster at the AMC, so don’t start crinkling chocolate or unraveling a secret sandwich.
· And of course, turn your phone off as soon as you’re settled in (and please, no sneaking in reading messages during the performance. Even Oprah could wait for intermission).