Is that not a thing of some interest?”
After the interview, the woman took the boy and her family on a tour of the opera house. She showed the family around the house on a hill. They met with a young woman who was the head of the orchestra for Opera Berlin. One of the men who were interviewed explained that the orchestra is very strict and that if a woman plays the tenor, they take her home, if she tries to go with the chorus, she will be kicked out. The man said that this is common practice and that it is a disgrace to a man and a woman to perform with equal playing time. It is not true that there is a quota system, but in some houses they take it to extremes. He also spoke of the situation at the Berlin Theatre and the famous conductor who had been hired that night as a director for the concert. He said that the man who had been hired was “a German, an ex-convict, who is a degeneration. He is a fraud with all this knowledge of musical theory and the great works of the German opera.
It is a common thing nowadays with young people to be sent to a private theater to see what the directors want. Sometimes they tell them that they’re not allowed to sing.”
The audience in the auditorium laughed. The woman laughed as well.
All of this was very upsetting to the mother of the son who sang and sang and sang until he was tired.
After dinner the mother and the other family went to the theater and spent a night in a rented hotel in a neighborhood that was completely unlike the theater complex. They spent the night in a big room off a narrow alley at night and sang until the dawn broke. They ate breakfast at the same tavern where the father and mother had last been seen. From that time on every night was spent at home.
The family was very well cared for. Two of the young people were studying in a music school. The family was well fed. They kept the children fed. The mother of the child who worked in the school would eat dinner at a tavern where the family went. In the evenings they would meet up at the tavern and sing and dance, dancing and singing. The younger daughter never slept, but she would go back to the theater with the mother and the other children and would join the others dancing, singing and dancing for hours.
They did not tell the neighbors about what they were doing, but they talked about it openly
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