Yesterday, I watched La Cenerentola at Meralco Theater. La Cenerentola is a Rossini comic opera of Cinderella , and this was the concert reading thereof. Despite the stellar cast of Arthur Espiritu, Karin Mushegain, Beong In Park, Noel Azcona, Ronnie Abarquez, Myramae Menezes, Tanya Corquera with conductor Ang, it was the worst theater experience of my life. And it was not even because of the sound system, though I could not hear the males properly at the lower ranges when they didn't project their voices.
It was because of how this concert was treated.
First of all, the concert started 20 minutes late. When the overture started, the lights were still open and people were still coming in. The same thing happened at the start of the second act. The lights were dimmed only after the first song of each act. Lights are dimmed before the start of each movie at the cinema. Why can't this be done at a concert?
Secondly, the lady beside me took pictures with a DSLR throughout the first act. To my left was the constant pii-click of the camera, while the musicians were playing and the singers were singing and even through the arias. This was interspersed with the light of her cellphone as she facebooked and looked at her messages. Thankfully, she was asleep throughout most of the second act but found it in herself to rouse at the ends of certain songs.
It's a pity because I would like to see it staged properly, but definitely NOT in Meralco Theater. My experience was thoroughly spoilt since I could not immerse myself properly through my distraction and irritation.