(1310-04-22) Investors and Investment
Summary: Ortolette seeks out Clémentine at l'Opéra Marsilikos with a proposal for an investment.
RL Date: April 23rd, 2018
Related: None.
clementine ortolette arielle 

Auditorium - l'Opéra Marsilikos

The auditorium, the heart of l'Opera Marsilikos, is as opulent as the foyer. Seating in the stalls and circle is upholstered in tones of crushed grape and gold, this matching the safety curtains of the stage and the draperies wound about gilded stucco columns. Several private boxes are available for those that are willing to pay for the privacy and better views of the stage that sitting within one provides, though the grandest of these is reserved for the Ducal family and favoured guests, easily recognised by the de Mereliot Crest it displays. Chandeliers glitter against a backdrop of a night-painted ceiling, and further illumination is provided by crystal sconces affixed to the walls.


It's early afternoon, and within the auditorium of l'Opéra Marsilikos there's a hive of activity afoot. In four days it will be the opening night of the next play that's to be staged here, with the time between the last and this having been filled with a variety of performances ranging from instrumental to vocal to short farcical pieces. Since the middle of the previous week however, the doors have only opened to allow admittance to the front of house only, where patrons might indulge in the comforts the salon has to offer. Within the theatre proper, painters work on scenery that will stun the theatre's patrons on first sight, with huge colourful backdrops depicting scenes from the deserts and cities of Menekhet transforming the stage to a world that few will have seen. Stagehands call and catcall back and forth as they climb like monkeys amongst the scenery, and a knot of musicians in a gallery to the side work through the pieces that'll accompany the players. The hubbub and busyness appears to have brought out anyone and everyone that's connected with the the theatre and its production, no less a certain fiery-headed woman that's draped herself within the comfort of a front row of seats in the stalls. She holds a silver pan flute to her lips, laughter not far from either herself or her companion as a couple of actors go through their lines on the stage. This is theatre. This is Clémentine's domain.

Ortolette had got caught in the rain some days since, and now, as one might only expect, there is a dampness in her lung and her breathing is fitful. Otherwise, however, she is feeling well, and so she has taken to her chair and decided to visit the theatre anyhow, accompanied by a burly guard who is well apt in the manner of maneuvering the rather bulky contraption about the streets and over any ostacles which might present themselves. When she crosses the threshold into the auditorium, what little breath she has is near to stolen from her by the buzz of activity, the colorful sets and the mirthful music. Ortolette draws the blankets near up to her chin, a cough making her frail shoulders shake, and then she gestures for Girard to set her somewhat better upright, so that she is sitting up a little more than reclining. With kerchief in hand, she suppresses her coughing and straightens her shoulders— meant, no doubt, to produce the general impression of maturity and gravitas, but her wide doe-eyes are still awed by the surroundings, and she may well come off as more a child at a confectioner's than otherwise.

It'd be due to Clémentine's training within Salon Lis d'Or that has her instantly note the arrival of Ortolette to the auditorium. Either that, or it'd be down to the young lad that darts quickly towards the red-headed songbird and informs her of the fact. She's quick to turn and focus attention on the Duchesse's daughter, and there's nothing but warmth to be found in the smile that alights on her face. The distance is a little to great to call out to the girl, so instead she rises to her feet and beckons Girard to bring Ortolette closer. The floor is level and obstacles minor since this is the floor of the auditorium and not a box perched in the circle, and once the distance is a little lessened, she offers the perfection of a deeply swept curtsey. "Welcome to the noise of a rehearsal in full flow," she says, dimples pressing her cheeks with a smile. "Would you care to watch for a while?"

Ortolette's eyes dally over everything— this detail, that preparation, each with the eager zeal of one who is passionate to the utmost for the theatre. It all quite nearly draws tears from her. As it stands, her eyes water softly from the sheer stimulation and concordance of beautiful works. She doesn't even mark the beckoning, but as she is moved further forward her eyes focus on the beautiful proprietor of the opera who comes to meet her. She bows her head in a reciprocal gesture, about all that she can manage from her seated position, and her delicate fingers play with the blankets which cover her lap. "Oh, Ma'm'selle Clémentine! May I do so?" must be akin to a yes. "The sets are so beautiful," her voice touched with the edge of a swoon.

"Aren't they?" Clémentine smiles. "A person could truly believe themselves within the tent of Menekhetian Prince, sprawled upon cushions whilst drinking wine and being hand-fed with honeyed figs, don't you think? Come, sit with me here, and we can talk of the magical world which the play will reveals when the play opens on Friday." A small shoo-shooing motion is given her former companion with a flutter of her fingers as she drops herself into her previous seat, and she waits for Ortolette to be turned and placed alongside her before she continues. "You will be gracing us with your presence, I hope. I can promise you an evening that will transport you to another world. Or…" and a crinkle of her nose accompanies a laugh, "… that is what we are promising."

Girard will do one better, after a nod from Ortolette grants him permission — he simply scoops up the infirm maiden and carries her in the style of a bride into the stall, then sets her alongside Clémentine and takes a quick sweep of his Lady's skirts to make sure they are diligently arranged, covering even the tips of the maiden's toes. "Oh, I do hope I may, Ma'm'selle. I will have to see whether my cough has abated; I will not be the one to mar the production with my coughing. But if not for the opening, I will see it, I pledge, before it closes," she speaks bravely and strongly, and, after a fit of eloquence, she gives in to a coughing fit, turning her head aside to cough into her handkerchief and away from Clémentine. Once she's had a moment to recover and take a few deep breaths, "The cushions— they look so authentic. Are they imported, or made locally to imitate Menekhetian wares?" She is up front in a stall with Clémentine, a rather burly servant (Girard) standing in the aisle a short ways away next to a wheeled couch on which Ortolette was brought into the theatre. There is a myriad of noises and fuss about the place, the company in the throes of last-minute arrangements and rehearsals.

Slipping in through the doors Arielle enters quietly with a single guard following her. The blonde glances around curiously as she makes her way further in, wandering down the aisles till she is closer to the stage. She tilts her head observing the scene around her calmly and with composure. Her gown is a rich emerald green trimmed in silver stitching, its simple in design yet still elegant in appearance. The sound of voices draws her attention towards Ortolette and Clémentine and she offers both woman a soft shy looking smile and a low dip of her head in greeting. She seems to be considering whether or not she should approach or not.

"Do not tell anyone, but they are fake. Well…" Clémentine amends. "Not fake fake, since they are are indeed serviceable cushions, but I am led to believe that our seamstress ran them up from some fabric obtained from a merchant in the market. As to your cough…." A drift of her hand in the air and an upward glance to the box so rarely sees use every night. "Your mother's box is curtained well from those beside it, so I doubt you'd disturb anyone. I do understand your concern, but if your health allows, you should come. Yes you should." Sliding her pan flute into the gap between her hip and her chair, she scoots lower in her seat, stretching her legs before her so that the tips of her slippers peek from beneath her skirts. "I shall give you a tour backstage should you wish," a sideways glance to the girl at her side. "I'm sure though that you didn't happen here by chance today, was there a purpose to your visit my lady?" A pause as she spots Arielle. "Oh, and you came with a friend." A lift of her hand. "Come join us, my lady."

Ortolette presses her lips together over the secret, as though to keep it visibly to herself, pretting two fingers over her pale lips. "Oh— yes, I would adore that. But perhaps we may sit for a while longer? I do — in fact — there was a matter about which I wished to converse with you, Ma'm'selle," she begins, straightening her back in a manner most businesslike, before Clémentine points out her companion. It makes her head to turn, and she looks to Arielle with a mote of confusion before her features brighten with a smile like the petals of a flower before the rising dawn. "No; you are merely a very popular personage, Ma'm'selle Clémentine. As well you should be. There are people knocking down your very door to see you."

"Ah, and so to the truth of the matter," Clémentine chuckles, lifting a hand to beckon one of the workers over. After ascertaining whether Ortolette would like tea, cordial, water or something a little stronger, she sends the lad on his way, fingers curling loosely over the ends of her arms of her chair. She's done an utterly professional job on the renovation of the l'Opéra de Marsilikos, and it basks now in the glory of its sumptuous new decor that echoes the love and care lavished on it. Shades of crushed grape and gilt adorn both upholstery and walls, and Clémentine's fingers stroke thoughtfully over the velvet as her eyes search Ortolette's. "Then the lady can wait, since what you have come to discuss is perhaps not for everyone's ears." And whilst it did seem initially that Arielle might have approached them, she's apparently now quite transfixed by the happenings on stage, and where there might have been an interruption there's now happily not.

Ortolette makes it clear that a tea would be ever so lovely— and she does sort of eye the other Lady who'd entered, as though perhaps wondering whether she was coming for the self-same purpose. But when the other is distracted by the happening on stage (as it is difficult for Ortolette not to be, as well, but she shimmies slightly closer to the opera's keeper, keeping her own attention fixed on Clémentine). "Mademoiselle Clémentine," she begins, in as somber and tender a voice as though she meant to propose marriage, "I have for some years now been able to make investment in certain mercantile endeavors as have seemed wise to me, and have some small coffers of my own now at my discretion for use. I wish to become a true patron of this opera and to finance a show," she declares her intentions.

Clémentine's expression would indicate that Ortolette's request has caught her off-guard. The soft lines of her mouth skew to the left, and the faintest of frowns etches a line between her brows. Her regard of Ortolette is slow and measured. "Goodness, my lady. I had quite decided that you were going to ask for an introduction to one of the players here, or to one of those permanently attached to the Opera House. It is a great undertaking to personally finance a production, and pitfalls are many until something is brought to the stage." She draws a slow breath, taking in the frail figure of the Duchesse's young daughter. She perhaps looks younger than her seventeen years given her lifetime of ill-health, and Clémentine lays a gentle hand across the top of hers where they lie on the blanket. " I find myself a little concerned that you may not realise the full extent of what you wish, but if you are able to tell me the amount you are happy to invest — and potentially lose — I can certainly discuss this with you."

Ortolette does seem quite small. Quite frail. That baby-doll face hasn't yet become that of a woman. And yet there's a quiet certainty in her eyes, a confidence of spirit that lurks below her meagre constitution. "I have lost in mercantile speculation, Mamselle. I know what manner of thing a risk is. And these moneys which my coffers now hold would not exist at all if I had not taken some risk to attain them. You know how much it is that I adore your opera. This is a thing which I have a passion to do. I will of course invest no more than I will be content to consider lost to the effort. But please, do consider me your resource moving forward. If you assent, I will send correspondence with the details of my capacity to fund you."

<FS3> Clementine rolls Perception: Great Success. (4 8 8 8 1 1 6 8 7)

It's the way of the world that for those whom come into the orbit of Ortolette's world tend to want to nurture and care for her, and no less so Clémentine for whom this falls naturally. The smallest of squeezes is given the young Mereliot's fingers before she reclaims her hand and settles back in her seat. She listens quietly as the young woman speaks, her eyes quiet upon hers until she's done and finished with her case neatly put. "I can see that you are quite determined upon your course," she muses, the smallest of smile just starting at the edges of her lips. "And I cannot deny, I have been asking around recently for investment and investors. Much to my regret, it appears that whilst there are those that love to come to l'Opera Marsilikos to be entertained, there are fewer that are willing to make solid investments. If it is not a bone of contention with your mother, and from what you say I believe it is not, then we shall speak further on this. I would interested to know whether you had thoughts already towards a play or operetta in particular that you'd like to bring here."

"My coffers are my own to invest as I will; my mother may not be so fond of the theatre as I am, but the money which I invest here will be that which I have earned, not that which she has given me, and I have full autonomy over its use," Ortolette may give a faint clue that it might not be her mother's first choice for expenditures, but that she has enough independence here to act as she will. "I had some few ideas," she admits, "But my taste in opera tends toward the woesome; I do by far admire a scenario which will make me weep. I realize that tragedies such as these are harder to fill; everyone does so love to laugh. So for the time being I am content to rely on your judgement as to pieces to bring; you have done so well thus far," and she admires her for it; that much is clear. "Perhaps you would assent to my working alongside of you, such as I may, and learning the arts of management which you have so mastered." It's a push, but one which she won't push hard for; she will not want to seem apt to take things over. Still, it may be the beginning of a companionable patronage.

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