Ave Fortuna

(French version originally published on May 30th, 2010; reproduced and translated here on June 6th, 2018, fixing a link dead since.)

Yesterday, May 29th 2010, I was at the Toulouse Zénith.

Not in the audience this time, but as a singer and extra in Carmina Burana Domus Derelictae directed by Gilles Ramade for the stage part and Claude Puysségur for the music part, which was already played twice in the Théâtre Musical de Pibrac on May 1st and 2nd, once in the Albi Scénith on May 9th, and once in the Agen Stadium on May15th.

It was a special even in more than one respect.

It was the final performance. There is a particular feeling to getting ready for a final; going through the tech rehearsal, you realize that you’re doing the last vocal warm-up, the last backstage reconnaissance, the last spot selection for placing costumes and strategic props.

It was at the Toulouse Zénith. One cannot enter backstage and discover what is simply the second biggest performance venue in France (and the first from 1999 to 2008) and remain unmoved.

It was sold out. Had been for weeks. Months, even. Over six thousand people were going to take seats in the rows and pit, like I had done myself a few times, to watch us play. Six. Thousand. Argh.

It was a surprise for a certain person whom I know, and I hereby again protest my innocence to her. 🙂

It was a culmination. For eight months, six hundred singers, musicians, choir singers, actors, extras and staff had labored; grown-ups and children, pros and amateurs, all thrown in this enormous adventure like one embarks for a far and unknown destination, and we were about to hit land.

I am drinking a post Carmina coffee. It is subtly different; not any bitterer or any softer, but I savor it with the knowledge that something unique happened, an event to which I took part with pleasure, and which I am leaving behind, and which is leaving me behind it.

While watching the adventure from its end, I feel the need to leave a personal message.

Madam, busy as I was to play my best on stage, I sometime caught a glimpse of you there; you happened to pass close to me backstage; we even exchanged a few words.

True to yourself—but then, who else could you be true to?—you had hidden where no one would ever look for you: in your own guise. However I make no mistake, that was you indeed.

They say you’re lavish with empty promises; but to me, you had made none, so from you I only received unexpected presents. One does not choose the presents one receives; for each of yours, Madam, I thank you.

Since you seem to have decided on moving on, Madam, I will not wish you fair winds: you have no need for that, as you are the one who commands them. I will not ask you for a last favor either: I know that you only grant such favors to show us their vanity.

Simply said, if your business brings you across my path again, don’t hesitate to shuffle it a bit; I promise, Madam, that I will always take it, if not with a smile, at least goodhearted.



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