(1312-04-28) La Danse de Nuit
Summary: Bastien meets Philomene and Andrei at the Opera.
RL Date: 04-28-2020
Related: None
andrei bastien philomene 

Auditorium - Opera

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.

--With all of the Spring celebrations, the Marsilikos Opera opens its production of La Danse de Nuit. The curtain is down, awaiting for the performance to beging. Those in the audience already can hear the orchestra tuning their instruments to one another. There is a low murmur as people find their seats, visiting with one another, for the opera is just as much about socializing as it is enjoying the performance.

Bastien is one of the audience members who arrives early to the performance. For him, the performers deserve the respect. They earn respect from him and more than a little bit of jealousy, as part of him would give anything to be up on the stage with them.

While Philomene always racks up an impressive selection of different ways in which she can piss everyone off, perhaps to everyone's surprise being late to the performance is not one of them. It does mean that every few minutes she either has to get up from the pair of seats she's managed to obtain for herself and her unwitting foreign guest for a new arrival, or she should remain standing until the last of the stragglers arrive. Naturally she chooses this latter option, leaning up against the wall of the theatre with one tall black boot drawn up behind her, spurs glinting in the soft light. She's discarded her jacket already to claim her seat, but stands in crisp white shirtsleeves over a long, rather elegant cream waistcoat, with delicate embroidery around seams, cuffs and buttonholes just shiny enough to be visible.

"Don't even bother trying to follow the plot," she advises her younger companion. "There are dancers. They will dance. The plot never makes sense with these things. But the dancers." Philomene raises both brows, and gives Andrei a significant Look. "Superb."

The younger companion is a tall blond fellow wearing an elegant slate grey frock coat the sort of which would be quite appropriate for someone of the higher merchant class. Some twenty years younger than the Dowager Vicomtesse, he's certain to inspire rumours — at least when she's not listening, because said Dowager Vicomtesse is known to pack as much of a kick as her horse.

"I know what a ballet is," the man murmurs, speaking with a decidedly not-d'Angeline accent and holding on to a silver-tipped walking stick. "You stare at the dancers, I'll stare at the first chair violinist."

Bastien happens to hear the dowager's remark about the opera. He gasps, in obviously mock shock. "The plot is fairly simple…. Courtesan falls in love with the hero. Nobleman falls in love with the courtsan. The hero is obtuse to the courtesan's feelings, even though he, himself, is in love with the courtesan. Conflict between the nobleman and the hero. The courtsan and the hero end up happily in love with one another and the nobleman ends up with the courtesan's friend, which suddenly makes an appearance in the final act." He grins and shrugs, "See, easy to follow… but you are right, the dancers in the middle should be quite a treat."

Philomène glances over to Bastien as she's corrected, giving a little amused snort. "The whole thing would last about five minutes if it weren't for the music and the overdramatic acting," she points out wryly. "And if you," Andrei gets a nudge, "spend the whole thing staring at the first violin, you're going to miss out on some of the most perfect shoulders, the longest legs, and the absolute dazzling control these women have. Never mind all that hacking about with swords the other day, these girls have got some real strength and grit to them. And they make it look so easy, too, and all in time to the music."

"But I might learn whether the first chair is worthy of that first chair," Anghelescu returns with a small smile, and offers a polite nod to the younger man. "You have your priorities, my lady, I have mine. Good evening, my lord."

Bastien smiles and bows his head, "Good evening to you as well, my lord." He grins to Philomene, "And I hope that the Lady enjoys the music and over-acting, at least a bit, as well as the dancing. I must agree with you though, those who dedicate themselves to dance such as these performers make it look divinely easy, as natural as drawing one's own breath." Bastien is wearing a silken doublet of midnight blue, which hues his grey eyes slightly blue. He smiles, "I do not believe that I have had the pleasure of meeting either of you before. I am Bastien Aubrey de Mereliot." He leaves the 'lord' out of his title intentionally, besides it is implied with his last name.

"I don't believe anyone in the world has ever had any pleasure in meeting me," Philomene points out cheerfully, drawing herself back out of the way a little as another patron eases past to find her seat. "I'm fairly certain it's usually quite the opposite. Philomene d'Aiglemort de Chalasse," she offers, then gives a jerk of her head towards her companion. "Monsieur Anghelescu, from the Chowat. Here to sell me some of his finest lumber, and we're here to show him a little d'Angeline culture… on which note, Anghelescu, flag down a boy, will you? We'll want drinks for the interval."

"Andrei Anghelescu at your service, my lord." The name, too, is decidedly foreign. He quirks an eyebrow at the request that really is no request at all, and waves one of the opera house's servants over. It takes a moment for the fellow to comply; he certainly gets moving when he realises who the other two people in that group are.

"I am a fairly recent arrival in town," he says. "And indeed, here to trade and to avail myself of your excellent physicians. Somewhere along the way, I also seem to have been appointed designated target of Lady Philoméne's attempts to expand the cultural horizon of eastern barbarians."

Bastien cants his head slightly, before he smiles to the elder lady, "Then I shall delight in being the first, my lady." He quirks a brow himself at the manner in which Philomene "asks" for some refreshment. "My lord Andrei, it is truly an honor. I have never met anyone from your land. You are far away from home, are you not? I cannot imagine being so far from my homeland." He pauses, then looks to the two. "There are a few empty seats in my balcony, if you would like a better view of the production."

"Apparently he only wants a view of the fiddle players," Philomene points out drily, nodding towards Andrei. "But I'm here to enjoy the whole thing. I'll gladly take you up on that." She pauses, squinting up at the balcony from where she stands, then eyes the door to the steps leading up that way. Steps. The bane of her existence. "We've a minute or two before it starts, yet?" It needs to be clarified. She drops her foot from behind her to the ground, where the more observant might notice the distinctly odd angle her leg takes, and the even more observant just how much more the sole of her left boot is built up compared with the right, to account for a distinct difference in the length of both legs. Decision made nonetheless, she sets her magnificently sculpted jaw, forms a loose fist with one arm behind her back, and gathers her coat with the other to sling over her shoulder. Thus girded for the painful journey upwards, she wastes no time and begins to limp that way, merely expecting the boys to follow.

Anghelescu looks like he momentarily contemplates offering the older woman his arm — and then decides that he'd like to keep his arm. Instead, he just falls into stride. "It would be an honour, my lord. I am given to understand that there are quite strict seating rules, and I shall not be one to complain about a better view of the orchestra pit." With a glance after the lady the foreigner adds, "Different people, different treasures. I am more interested in music than I am in women."

Bastien cocks his head, "Do you play Lord Andrei? I was trained in it, but I was never as good as the lute or my voice." For the voice is the first instrument, after all. He smiles widely, "Most excellent. The opera is always better when you share in the moment with others, then just sitting through it all by yourself."

Philomène makes it up the stairs in blessed silence. Perhaps she has nothing to say? Ha, just kidding, it's Philo after all. No, she's just saving what breath she has, laboured as it is, to keep herself upright. The opera is not particularly warm, even as more people arrive and fill it, and yet there's a definite sheen of sweat on her skin by the time she achieves the top step and pauses, ostensibly to allow Bastien to point out their seats.

Anghelescu shakes his head. "I play the violin a little for my own pleasure. Mine is a country often at war, my lord. We do not have as much time for the pleasures of the arts as a man might like. I have had the pleasure of visiting a couple of establishments such as this on my travels, though. It is very — educational."
The git is absolutely ignoring Philoméne's discomfort. Some gentleman he is.

Concern does show in his eyes, as Bastien notices Philomene. He directs the two to one of the Mereliot booths. "Here we are, my lady, my lord." He looks to Andrei, "How dreadful. The way I look at it, life without music is not life at all, but merely existance." He smiles, "But I spent nearly my entire life learning music." He gestures to the seats, letting the lady take her choice of seats.

Philomène grips the edge of the booth, fingernails digging in as she steadies herself, settles a perfectly blank expression on her face, and lowers herself into one of the seats. Only once she's seated does she let out a breath and allow her face to become animated once more, turning to offer Bastien a slight smile. "The music is a useful vehicle for the dancing, but I'm definitely here for the dancers," she admits.

The foreigner waits for the Marsilikan lord to sit before he does so himself. "Without life, my lord, there is little existence and hence, little music. The Skaldi are quite impolite in that regard — they don't schedule their invasions for outside of the opera season. Before I became a merchant, I was a soldier."

Bastien settles into his seat as the curtain raises and the performance begins. For the most part, the youth is enraptured by the music, instrumental and vocal alike. He does murmur under his breath, whenever he feels that the hero, the tenor, does not do as good of a job as the young lord felt that he should. He does comment to Andrei, "I will admit that I have the luxury of never knowing the horrors of war and am blissfully ignorant of such." He smiles, "But for tonight at least, you do not have to worry about the Skaldi and can just enjoy the music."

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