City Moment – The Opera Singer’s Front Row Audience, Alliance Francaise de Delhi
The memorable instant.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It is summer and yet the air is not warm. The opera singer’s song is sneaking out of the door. Inside, her booming voice has flooded the whole world. She is in a blue-grey gown and she is standing beside the pianist on the stage. The rest of the hall is dark except for cell phones recording the performance.
One evening The Delhi Walla steps inside ML Bhartia Auditorium in Alliance Francaise de Delhi. The opera singer completes her beautiful performance and takes a bow. A gentle applause follows. She leaves the stage and disappears. The pianist stays. Another woman appears. Her gown is a deep shade of pink. She introduces herself into the darkness. While talking to the invisible audience, she says, “I hope you will like it.” She then starts. Her singing voice is miles apart from her talking voice—so strong and pulsating. It engulfs the entire hall and enters every small corner.
But most seats are empty. There is only one person seated on the front row and he is barely perceptible. Nevertheless, the woman goes on passionately as if it is the most important day of her life. It is a dream-like moment.
Tonight is the night