There are some days where my love of Tanglewood bumps up, hard, against some of the less ideal aspects of the place. I speak of the crowds.
I think part of the reason I love coming here with the chorus is those glorious early days of the residency, when we and the orchestra are almost the only people here. But come Friday night and a concert in the shed (in which I’m not performing) and I find it a bit… overwhelming. Call it agoraphobia, but partway through the search for friendly faces among the blankets and lawn chairs I’m invariably seized with the urge to flee. So it was that I couldn’t hack the crowds for last night’s concert.
But of course I still want to hear the music. So this residency I’m taking full advantage of that secret of the Tanglewood experience: the open rehearsal. While they can still be crowded, particularly this morning with Yo-Yo Ma, the crowd is not as dense, and one can sit inside the Shed and feel insulated from the worst of it. And the best part is how cheap the tickets are–I mean, they let the chorus in for free, in recompense for our services, but even for the general public an open seating ticket is less than $10.