More Mahler rehearsals last night with our German chorus master in London. I told you he said he had been asked to stop attacking singers personally if they sing a flat note so last night he said: "There are three Michaels in this chorus. One of you is singing flat. Stop it immediately."
I guess that was sort of clever. And he does that artiste thing of calling everyone 'darling' but it doesn't stop the criticism. "Darling, that's lovely but it's not at the right tempo."
We were in the middle of singing some high notes loudly, and he sliced through the air. A couple of people didn't stop singing.
"My conducting was PERFECT!" he shouted, "so why didn't you stop?"
From sublime to horrible
I was on my way to the train after rehearsal. The night was warm and beautiful. I had to cross Fitzroy Square, a very posh part of London. I always fantasize about securing a few million to buy a house there someday. I was thinking these nice thoughts as I got on the train to Reading. I always walk the entire length of the train to get in the Quiet Carriage where no phones are allowed, and passengers are supposed to speak quietly.
Shortly after we pulled out of Paddington Station, a few little kids burst into the carriage, shouting. Behind them was the worst group of adults -- they'd been drinking and were belligerent.
"We're riff raff!" the mother announced, her face a pasty white. They seemed to enjoy causing a ruckus.
Of course there are no British Rail workers on the train to do anything about it. And I'm not going to confront them at that time of night. Once I asked a man to stop talking on the phone in the Quiet Carriage and he and his friends stood up and started shouting at me. So I stopped being a vigilante.