The rain started maybe an hour before the concert at Teatre Letni , an outdoor amphitheater in the park . Ada said that she thought it would stop before the performance , and she was right . It was pouring down , however , when we arrived , three hours before the event would start . We were there early because Ada and her friend were volunteering and they had to listen to their instructions .
I was hanging out backstage , a bit of a fish -out-of-water , trying to stay out of the way . At least I was out of the rain . The deal was that I’d get free admission because Ada was working the event ; but I’d have to wait until the box office opened , and the box office was in no hurry to open , as it happened .
There were to be eight tenors , each to sing a bit of operatic stuff . The audience would vote their favorite . Each audience member would be given a rose , and each rose represented the person’s vote . Ada and the others in the black dresses and blue sashes would collect the roses and someone good at quick counting would talley the votes .
The philharmonic orchestra played . There were five Polish singers and three others , one from Greece , one from Chile , and one from Mexico . I would’ve voted for the Chilean guy as being the best , if I had voted . I left before the end of the whole thing , however . I’d hit my opera- tolerance threshold after the first half of the concert , although it had been an excellent performance and I’d enjoyed it .
The Chilean singer won the contest . He would have been my choice , too . Ada’s friend gave me a rose just before I left and I was told to take it home and put it in water . That’s how we get ourselves into trouble , keeping our votes to ourselves and letting others make the critical choices . It could have gone all wrong .