An urgent flashing of the house lights beckoned the audience back to their seats for the Second Act. Vicki had spent the intermission backstage, chatting with two of her favorite singers who would soon grace the stage once more as the booming baritone Magnifico and his daughter Angelina, a dazzling soprano whose career had reached new heights during these ten, high-profile New York performances.
Vicki couldn’t conceal her delight at the absolutely full house. “I guess the new marketing firm really hit one out of the park,” she commented quietly to Martin as the lights dimmed. “All ten performances are sold out!”
Her lawyer friend smiled. “It’s the inspired leadership they’ve been getting,” he replied. “New blood, new ideas. It’s just magnificent.” The maestro appeared at the edge of the orchestra pit and received enthusiastic applause. “Although even I would admit that Rossini’s genius might have something to do with it,” Martin said, raising his voice over the audience’s appreciation. “Still, you’ve broken the glass ceiling yet again, I would say. Bravo, Miss Vydra.”
“You’re too kind,” she said, patting his hand as the strings stirred in a quiet but ominous tremolo, quickly ushering in a sudden and violent orchestral tutti, brassy and loud, which filled the huge auditorium with the dark ferocity of the storm it depicted. Vicki let the eruption pass through her, finding herself carried by its torrential force, allowing the moment to fill her with an awed respect for nature’s power. She knew that it could not last, and the audience was soon deposited kindly into the peaceful meadow of the storm’s passing. Horn calls signaled the all-clear and, as one can always expect from Rossini, the good humor and delicate, social fun-poking resumed.