Concert Rehearsal at the Bolshoi

This is one thing I love about winter in Moscow; about my job; about life here.

photography by Debbie Hoehner

The auditorium glows red velvet and gold-encrusted balconies like a cavern filled with the czar’s lost imperial treasure.

photography by Debbie Hoehner

Leaning over the baulstrade, our faces brush the music – swelling, blowing, bursting in the air over the empty seats. It sounds like the cold, starry first Christmas night when angels burst out of the cloud with trumpets.

The haunting solos are nice – when the soprano, tenor and bass tell us about what trills through their thoughts on the still night plains or standing awe-struck next to the baby cradle with Mary and Josef.

photography by Debbie Hoehner

My favorite part, though, is when everyone picks up their bow string and opens their mouth and the conductor pulls music out of them in a convoluted dance that practically knocks him off his chair and you’re suddenly right in the middle of the battlefield with the cellos cantering over the hills, and the choir thundering back and a drum as big as the kitchen table signalling the final death notes.

And then they switch to telling us about Easter morning and the first rays of sunrise and the birds who started to sing about the resurrection before anyone else.

My friend leans over the seat, and points to the programme. Actually, the song is telling some stupid story about the Suez canal. All this is a rendition in honor of science, progress and brotherhood. Really? They’re at a construction site, but I’m in the Vatican.

photography by Debbie Hoehner

I’ve never been inspired by the Suez Canal, but this guy apparently was.

People inspire me – conversations with them over cups of tea or internet Skype screens, or through the pages of a book, or just watching them swarm through the metro. It’s amazing how crazy people are sometimes.

What inspires you?

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