This is what’s in store for us at the Sydney Opera House. Humble escalators, more than 30 years after the building opened. I can’t believe there weren’t elderly or otherwise less-agile people wanting to go to concerts and operas and ballets in the 1960s and 70s, but for some reason it just never occurred to ‘them’ to include escalators or even public lifts in the original building.
Well, better late than never. Although, it’s not as if there haven’t been solutions up until now. Those with titanium knees and other exotic accessories are able to pop around to Stage Door, where they’re escorted to a backstage lift that takes them straight to the main foyer level. My mother does this all the time, and I suspect that, once the escalators are completed, she’ll rather miss the frisson of that little glimpse of the backstage world. She is her daughter’s mother after all. And you don’t see sights like this in the foyers.
What was I doing at the Opera House tonight? Impromptu attendance at the opera: the A&G D&A double bill, otherwise being publicised as Baroque Masterpieces. I’ll save writing up my observations for a more godly hour of the day. The program editor in me does wonder, though, why Henry Purcell’s portrait was selected to sit alongside the title page billing of Handel’s Acis and Galatea, while Mr Handel’s portrait sits beside the billing for Dido and Æneas. And the programmer in me wonders whether this was the result of a change of performing sequence at some point.