Re: birding-aus Birding while ...

Subject: Re: birding-aus Birding while ...
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Mon, 08 Mar 1999 13:47:44 +1000

David McDonald wrote:
> birding-aus
> Has anyone reported on 'Birds I have observed while at the Opera'? 

Quite a few years ago we attended a memorable concert performance of
Wagner's 'Die Walkuere' in the Melbourne Town Hall, conducted by Sir
Charles McKerras. Throughout the first half of the opera we could
clearly hear the enormous swarm of Common Starlings chattering away as
they prepared to sleep on the numerous ledges and niches on the outside
of this grandiose building. However I'm glad to say they didn't come
inside! Only the loudest passages of the orchestra seemed to drown them
out. Must have given the recording engineers a headache. The MCC seems
now to have installed some kind of mesh over the ledges to discourage
them and the feral Pigeons.
  Perhaps this is the place to tell the story of a performance of 'The
Magic Flute' at Glyndebourne a few years ago,  where the appearance of
the Queen of the Night in her second aria (the furious one) was
accompanied by a large number of live bats, which flew over the startled
audience before vanishing.. Some of the critics felt that this was going
too far, and animal-lovers worried about the creatures' well-being. The
management said it had nothing to do with them - it just happened that
the bats lived in the upper recesses of the stage anyway, and their time
to depart just happened to coincide with that aria. There was a
suggestion that the top notes had been very much on bat-level and might
have encouraged them to leave faster than usual.
  Anthea Fleming in Melbourne
PS. The late Alan Bell once wrote in the Melbourne Age's old Lit. Supp.
of the birds he had observed from the MCG during dull parts of Test
Matches - cricket of course.  These included a Wedgetailed Eagle
travelling high overhead.
To unsubscribe from this list, please send a message to

Include "unsubscribe birding-aus" in the message body (without the quotes)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU