It's that time of year, once again, when tickets go on sale for the Anima Mundi music festival which takes place each autumn in and around the Duomo. We've had season tickets for the entire programme every year, practically since AM began - and the quality of the performers and of the programme has been getting better and better over all that time. The only potential fly in the ointment is the fact that John Eliot Gardiner took over last year as Artistic Director for Anima Mundi, and it remains to be seen whether this was a wise choice: he was personally responsible for two concerts in the course of last year's festival, and they were both terrible!
And so, this morning I made my way to the ticket office, in order to try and negotiate this year's season tickets with Francesca, who has presided over the process for longer than I can remember. As I said, smilingly, across her desk as we both sat down, this was going to be a little complicato . We wanted Sector 'B' tickets for the London Philharmonic and the Concerto Italiano concerts, but Sector 'A' seats for the Camposanto concerts and the Gautier Capucon event, with the Radio Orchestra of Cologne. And we didn't care where the tickets were for the Eliot Gardiner concerts, since we didn't intend to use them. Francesca's smile fell. "No - you have to have all your tickets the same when you buy a season ticket", she said. "But - that wasn't how it was last year", I said. "No", she agreed"but that was last year." Hmmm. "Can't I pay for all my seats in sector A, but have some of them as seats actually in Sector B?" . Her expression was miserable in response. "No. The computer won't allow it". "Then what about buying all in sector B and paying upgrades for the ones I want in Sector A?". "No. The Director won't allow it". Aaaaaaaaaaaaagghhhh..........
In the end, she asked me for precise details of exactly what it was that I wanted to do, carefully wrote it all down on a piece of paper, and implied that the tickets should be available for collection by July 10th. With a nod and a wink I slid noiselessly from the office, confident that all would be well......
Alberto, who is finishing his MA in 'International Relations and Conflict Resolution' is coming to dinner tonight. Possibly, he has a promising future in concert ticket allocation! They sure as hell need somebody!
Risotto di Barolo (actually made with Merlot; needs must)
Arista di Maiale, with the Pomiane Tomates a la Creme
Pear and Peach Tarts.