anya_and_robertI met my husband, Robert, on Match.com.  On our first date, we brought each other a musical present.  He brought me a CD of Russian jazz pianists and I brought him a brochure from the Cactus Pear Music Festival.  We both knew right away that this was a match made in heaven…

We use to go to a lot of musical events together at the beginning of our relationship.  At that time, Robert had no idea what he was getting into by dating me – the artistic director and pianist.  Music was still a lot of fun for him before he learned that it is lots and lots and lots of work.

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Live in HD, by the Metropolitan Opera in New York was one of our early dates.  We had a nice lunch and found cozy seats at the very busy movie theater.  The opera was staged with Eugene Onegin sung by Dmitry Hvorostovsky (a famous Russian baritone) and Tatyana by my favorite soprano ever, Renée Fleming.  As soon as the opera began, I started to feel tears… the kind of terrible tears that have no mercy and want to come out no matter what.  I had made it all the way through the beginning without letting it out, but when Tatyana’s letter scene began, I lost it.  This is the music I grew up with; we were taught to recite Pushkin’s poem, Eugene Onegin, in middle school by memory as a part of our curriculum.  This music and this poetry is part of my DNA.

So, there I was hiding my tears from my date (and future husband-to-be), so I would not look stupid and over-sentimental.  Tatyana is tormented with her sudden love for Eugene, and she wants to tell him about it, but at the same time she is terrified that he might not share the same feelings.  The music had reached the dramatic culmination of Tatyana’s 30 minute-long letter scene, and then there was a pause… sudden silence… and OH GOD!  I heard a roaring snore right next to me! – coming from the place where Robert was sitting!!!!!

Well, it was warm and cozy in the theater and the opera was long and in Russian.  He could not help but fall asleep and he could not have timed his solo snore better.  It turned out that I was hiding my tears for nothing!   I could have just wept at will had I known that Rob was having such a good time during the show.  From then on we both knew what to expect of each other going to the Houston Grand Opera or San Antonio Symphony, or any other music performance: I cry and he sleeps and both of us are perfectly happy.

This season, the San Antonio Symphony is bringing Renée Fleming – the GODDESS of our time.  We already have tickets and I am seriously considering sharing with her this charming (to us) story of Robert and Anya’s perfect date.

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