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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cellphones and Opera

don't say you weren't warned:

The Cairo Opera House in Egypt started the practice of confiscating cell
phones (without exception---they even took away that of the US ambassador on
one night) although naturally one or two manage to escape their sweep. A
case in point was a long-awaited concert by the visiting Berlin Philharmonic
Orchestra in 2001. In the middle of the adagio of the Bruckner symphony,
someone's cell phone went off with ascending rings. The owner, not wanting
to be identified, did nothing, and the rings got louder. 6 millitary police
then entered the hall with intense flashlights trying to zero in on the
offending culprit, reminding us of a scene out of Schindler's List.
Eventually the person was found, hand-cuffed (seriously!) and led from the
hall, all the while conductor continued uninterrupted. Later I asked a
friend who is a basso with the Cairo Opera what happened to the person with
the cell phone. He said he and his wife were taken to the police station
and no one knows what happened after that...........

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