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That is, sang in a choir concert and missed a possible romantic opportunity.

Tonight I sang the Fauré Requiem and excerpts from Mozart’s Litanies with the Ensemble Vocal de Philippe Caillard. Who is apparently a pretty big deal–he’s a conductor, but he also runs a music publishing company.

Anyway, we sang in Saint-Merry, which is a church just off the Rue de Rivoli (where there is some great window-shopping!). If you Google Saint-Merry, Wikipedia calls it a “small church.” Observe.


Small? These are not the droids you’re looking for.

The acoustics were really splendid, and everyone sounded great (except for a few pitch problems, but it’s an amateur choir, so I’m cutting everybody some slack. I myself was having a sharp day owing to my cold). But the really exciting thing was how many people were in the audience. They had set up rows upon rows of chairs, and it was a free concert, but it still surprised me that all of the chairs were filled and they kept adding more. And they left the side entrance, onto Rue St. Martin, wide open, so periodically people would wander in to find out what that music was. Plenty of blue-haired old ladies, sure, but plenty of younger folks too. There was a woman in the second row who was crying during the “In Paradisum,” the final movement. I sang directly to her. It was so wonderful to see reactions like that. Though given that part of the piece, I’m not surprised that people were emotional. It’s a stunning thing.

For an encore, the choir did the first movement of the Brahms German Requiem, which is our next big project. I sat it out, because the first time I sang it was last Sunday at rehearsal and I really wasn’t comfortable. I went to the side and sat in a free chair, and slightly behind me, there was a big biker guy, completely with handlebar mustache, enormous earrings and leather jacket. With tears in his eyes. Behold the power of music.

(Also, yes, that is a direct quote of “Deutschland über alles” at the beginning there. I geeked out a little when I heard that.)

So then, there was this guy in the second row, quite good-looking in a Stellan Skarsgaard kind of way. I couldn’t help notice that he was looking at me quite a bit, and then when I went to sit off to the side, he actually looked around a bit until he figured out where I had gone. I really was thinking, hmm. I should really introduce myself. Maybe we could get a drink after the concert.

But then, perhaps predictably, I didn’t. I totally wimped out. I walked past him a couple of times with my friends Marie and Blythe, on our way out. Gave him a smile, I think. And then I left the church. I had this minor fantasy that he would come out and find me, or that I’d run into him at Châtelet (the biggest métro stop ever, where you can walk for a solid ten minutes before you get to the train or exit you want). But neither happened. Hélas.

HOWEVER. I’m going to go ahead and put my Lord Peter Wimsey monocle on and do a little deductive reasoning. He was sitting in the second row of a completely full church, which means that he must have A. a friend in the choir, B. some knowledge of Philippe Caillard, C. an abiding love for choral music, D. gotten there quite a bit early, or E. all of the above. All of which mean that the odds might be good that he’ll turn up again and I can try not to be an idiot.

Or he might be Swedish and be flying back to Stockholm tomorrow, in which case that train has sailed.


P.S. I saw this on the way to the church and there was no way I wasn’t going to take a picture of it.