An Interesting Evening at the Opera

June 29th, 2017

An Interesting Evening at the Opera

My parents enjoyed classical music, so I did, too; there was always classical music playing in our home.  They took me to concerts in Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Lyric Opera.  In my third year of high school, when I was 16 and couild drive, my father wangled me a job as an usher at Symphony Hall.  I loved that so much, that .he got me a job as an usher at the Lyric Opera.  These were unpaid jobs, of course.

Ushering at the Symphony was a trip; I was always assigned to the very top balcony — five flights of stairs.  I’ve had acrophobia my whole life, and it took all my courage to navigate the steps of the steeply pitched balcony; my heart was often in  my throat as I guided patrons up and down (especially down!) the stairs.  Yet, up there in the clouds were actually the very best seats in the house: The recording microphones were hung from the ceiling and dangled just in front of us, so acoustically that spot was excellent.  I attended every concert I could, for nearly two years.  I loved to sit in the empty auditorium, listening as the musicians slowly entered and began to tune and practice.  Very often I was joined by an old lady, who always sat in the center of the very top, very highest row.  She was blind; the head usher brought her up on a private elevator, for every concert.  So it was just the two of us, me and the blind lady, listening to life begin to stir.

The opera was even more marvelous because more glamorous, more exciting.  Still relegated to the top balcony, but in somewhat plusher environs, the secret was to look for seats lower down, in an empty box if there was one, to get a closer look —  after the opera had started you could move to any vacant seat as long as you were not too obvious about it.  The Lyric Opera was a terrific company, with some of the greatest singers:  Tito Gobi (my favorite), Ezio Pinza, Renata Tibaldi, and many others whose names you would recognize and my memory fails at this moment to recall.  The orchestra was superb, too, with many of the same players as in the symphony orchestra.

Somehow, I managed to wangle a gig as a super!  Being a supernumerary (extra)  was a big deal; not  only did you get to actually take part in the opera, but you got paid.  (Three dollars per performance, which was almost enough to cover the cost of the parking garage.)  The opera was Boris Godunov.  Boris Christoff, the bass, sang the part of Boris.  I was a soldier — twice with a spear, once holding an icon.  It was with the large, heavy wooden icon, that I got to “sing” in the opera; it was only one word (“Slava”, ot ‘hooray’), and only in dress rehearsal did I dare, but I did sing it!  I think someone in the chorus might have heard me, but I was never taken to task for it.

Standing in back of fire curtain in Boris

Blow Job

The dressing room for male supers was super crowded, like a busy locker room, which it really was.  I felt rather out of it there, especially s there was a group of teen boys, my age, who all seemed to know each other really well, and ignored me quite thoroughly.

One person who didn’t ignore me was, it turned out, a priest: the group of boys were actually all members of a Russian Orthodox Church school.  They were there on a kind of pilgrimage — this opera was all about an early Russian czar, in whose reign the Church played a significant role.

The Priest, who introduced himself as Peter (I then heard some of the boys refer to him as ‘Father Peter’), was the only one of the group to talk to me.  I guess he could see that I was feeling lonely.  I was glad for the company.

The other person to talk to me was an assistant stage manager named Brad.   Brad was late twenties, early thirties.  He was an assistant stage manager, who showed up in the supers’ dressing room.  Curly light-brown hair, medium complexion, slim build, not too tall.  Brad struck up a conversation, asking about myself, where I lived, my interest in the opera.

He invited me to join him next week, and watch the opera from the wings.  I drove in, and joined him two stories above the stage, on a catwalk, not far from the lighting patch board.

Did you know that at the Lyric, there is a young man sitting just behind the stage-right curtain; his job is to run run just behind the curtain as it is closes, and to grab it, to keep it from swinging back and thus revealing the stage behind to the audience.  He is dressed, no matter the opera being presented or the period in which it is set, in full 18th-century costume, complete with powdered wig.

The stage is very tall, about five stories, but exceptionally lacking in depth.  During Aida, the long masses of soldiers, slaves, etc. cross the stage, then have to run back behind the scenery, to enter again from the other side.  They are running almost along the back wall of the theater.

We stood side-by-side on the catwalk, watching all this.  He now and then put his arm around my waist.  I felt uncomfortable, and shifted to loose the arm from around me.

He invited me to his place after the opera.   We left the opera house, and walked to the parking lot to get my car.

I drove following his directions; it was not far, just a few blocks. I realised suddenly that this was one of the (then) new aparment buildings built along the lake, overlooking the park, designed by Mise van der Rohe.  Elegant, sleek, looking as if made entirely of glass.  We went to the twentieth floor, to his apartment.

He pressed a button, and the window curtains parted, revealing a wall of glass, floor to ceiling — The park, the lake, the Outer Drive, were spread out below us; the Gary steel mills glowed in the far distance.

He asked me if I’d like a drink.  (Remember, I was 17 at the time.)  Sure, I said.  He handed me a glass of scotch, on the rocks.  We stood watching the night-time traffic far below, the glimmer of light reflected from the waves of Lake Michigan.

Time passed.  I finished that drink.   He put his arms around me; I leaned back against him, into his warmth, his breath on the back of my neck, as he held me tightly against himself, his right hand just above my heart, his left rubbing my abdomen.  His hands moved lower, onto my hips, my thighs, between my legs, then moved up into my crotch, just brushing my genitals.  I was fully hard by now, pressed tight against the fly of my pants.

Brad turned me around to face him.   One hand moved back to caress  my butt, the other cradled the back of my head as he brought his lips to mine, pressed his mouth hard against mine as our bodies searched out each other, taut and lean together.   I felt my self as though melting, merging into his passion; I clung to him pressing myself closer to him, a heat reising up inside me, a flow of energy moving through my lips and into his.

Soon I was spread out upon his sofa, and Brad  knelt before me..  He put his hands again inside my thighs, then gently move them apart, moved his body between my legs. I gasped as with his two hands he cupped my genitals, kneeding them gently, them moved up, fumbled at my belt buckle and soon had the fly unzippered and my pants pulled down to reveal my hardon.

Brad pulled my underwear down further; he leaned down, and gently cupped my scrotum with his left hand as his right moved to my penis, which he directed into his mouth, his moist lips doing down its length, taking me in in full.  I felt his tongue flicking over the glans of my cock.  I felt a heat inside me swelling out from my center to fill my whole body, as his lips moved up and down my erect penis, his tongue teasing along its full length.

He again took my now wet cock in one  hand, cupped my balls in the other, then moved his head further down to take my scrotum in his mouth, feeling my balls with his tongue, then moving back to my cock to take it back in.

As Brad went about this, I felt as though I could feel everything he was feeling, that his lips were my lips, that I had my cock in my own mouth, and as the pleasure welled up within me I felt his own pleasure, a complete sharing of sensual ecstacy, as I arched my body up toward him, running my hands through his hair, my body arched, tight with a frenzy I’d not felt before, as I finally exploded  within him, again, and again, as he drank me in with a moaning sigh.

Brad played with my penis inside his mouth, as my erection slowly faded. Then he pulled my pants back up, zippered the fly, buckled the belt.

“Can I get you anything else?” he asked.

The phone rang.  It was my mother; Was I there?  Panic.  He just left; yes, he came over for milk and cookies.

I should not have driven back; I was drunk as possible, without passing out.  Double lines on the highway.

I woke up the next morning with a roaring hangover — my first.  But I also woke up glad — glad that I had learned this about myself:  Not only did I enjoy it, but was grateful and happy, knowing there was not so much to fear.


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