We first met in the foyer of The Hartt School in January.
I had taken the bus from Northampton in order to see a performance of “Street Scene” by Kurt Weill, the student opera. It was a Sunday afternoon in January, shortly before the first day of classes and the start of my new job.
The bus schedule had me at the school very early. However, the event was ticketed, so I needed the time to navigate the system. Although I had an ID, my name was not yet in the ticketing system.
After obtaining a ticket, I remained in the foyer, a large room with upholstered benches lining the walls.
Audience members began arriving as curtain time approached. As the foyer was becoming rather crowded, two elderly women entered together. It seemed to me that they could use a place to sit, so I offered to stand, giving them two seats together. They gratefully accepted, then continued the conversation, inviting me to sit with them. I was happy to make their acquaintance, especially as they were among the first ten people I had met in Hartford.
It soon became clear that they were both opera fans who often attend Hartt performances. Their names were Ingeborg and Shirley.
Inga told me that she changed her name to Inge at first, but got tired of being called “Inkie” all the time. So now it’s Inga. Her companion’s name was Shirley.
Ever since January, I have kept an eye out for them. And on Monday evening, it paid off. Inga attended a vocal concert. The program was entitled “Occident Meets Orient,” and was wonderfully sung by Carole FitzPatrick, Robert Barefield, and their terrific pianist, Russell Ryan.
I approached her at the reception. She looked frail. Shirley was not with her. I didn’t ask about Shirley, but may at a future encounter.
Inga told me she’s going to the Connecticut Concert Opera production of “Gianni Schicchi” by Puccini and Pasatieri’s “Signor Deluso,” and wanted to know whether I’m going, too. We’ll both be attending the Sunday matinee on November 2nd.
I’m looking forward to seeing her!