We took our journey by the train and all the way to East Croydon, and we walked to the Royal Opera House in London - I couldn't believe that I was going to be going to one of the world's most famous opera houses in the world. I had been there before when I went to see The Rake's Progress - also composed by Stravinsky.
I was told that there were going to three music pieces going to be performed, and The Rite of Spring - and I had to wait until the end and watch through the first two boring pieces. While at the seats, and the show began - I was pretty infuriated with constant sounds in the audience, and I turned to find that it came from disabled people - I felt pity for them because I knew they couldn't help that - so I just had to get on and try and listen to the piece and ignore, like a gentlemen. While there were intermissions going back, the teachers had asked students for any ice-creams and only those with money could buy some - I didn't care really that I didn't have any money because I was looking forward to the final piece with Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.
I already knew the history of it's premiere that there was a riot during the beginning of the performance, with the heavy dance steps, and the music in it, that they ended up throwing food at the dancers and the curtains had to be closed. I was glad to see that none of this happened at the premiere. ;-)
I had made a bet with another teacher on what the instrument at the very beginning was, I was sure that it was the oboe, and the teacher was sure it was a bassoon. Until the presenter came to talk to the audience, he said that he was a high bassoon, I was wrong - but it was difficult because both instruments sounded similar.
We are mostly familiar with The Rite of Spring in Disney's Fantasia with the dinosaurs and the growth of life. When I heard the music, I was visualizing the music as if it was going through the movie and it was excellent. However, I was pretty disappointed to discover with the Stravinsky piece that the music for Fantasia had been reorganized and I do understand why Stravinsky didn't like that. I noticed that there were music in the original piece that never got into the movie.
I remember walking out of the theater thinking what a great piece it was and that it was a real treat for me to be off school not doing lessons and enjoying listening to classical music at the Royal Opera House in London.
Here is a piece on YouTube to celebrate The Rite of Spring in three parts with the original costumes: