Edna Epstein is the President and lead Soprano of Cloverdale’s Operatic Society which meets twice each month at 7:00 P.M. in the Comprehensive School’s theater. She is currently with other members of the society on a two day holiday at the Grand Imperial Hotel in Capital City. She and her husband Edmond are sharing a room with their loved and overly pampered dog, Trixie.
Tonight, the National Opera and Symphony are performing Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion at the National Theater. It will be carried live on Cloverdale Weekend Television. Two months ago, while rehearsing for their next performance of Snow White (a New Year’s favorite for many in the village and surrounding areas), Doris Dale suggested that the entire Operatic Society attend the performance at the National Theater . Everyone happily agreed and praised Doris for the idea. Doris is the Society’s activities chairwoman and amazes everyone with her suggestions. She claims she is a party animal at heart, although one wouldn’t know that, considering she is rarely seen outside of her modest one bedroom bungalow - except at the Piggly Wiggly for groceries and occasionally at the Kicking Donkey for a gin and tonic. Of course she never misses the Operatic Society. Doris explained that a two day excursion with a nice stay at the Grand Imperial would be the perfect way to top off this year’s holiday season. A round of, “Here Here’s” was shouted across the stage when she finished. Doris blushed and waved the attention away.
The performance was due to start in less than forty minutes. Edna was dressed but kept the rest of the Society waiting in the hotel's lobby while she finished Trixie’s walk on a treadmill supplied in the Hotel's Fitness Room. Trixie would normally walk outside but Edna thought the recent cold might chill her lungs. Edna feared Trixie would catch a cold, and if she did, her snoring and snorting would be magnified. On her bad nights, Trixie has been known to wake the neighbors. Earlier that evening of the Hotel’s porters was kind enough to briefly step outside with her long enough so Trixie could do her business. Edna tipped him generously, took the leash, and walked her pug to the waiting tread mill.
Edna looked at her watch, saw the time and stopped the machine. It was time to collect her husband and the other members of the Society. Edna left Trixie with the kind attendant at the front desk who promised Trixie would enjoy her brief stay in the hotel’s kennel. She assured Edna that only the finest pedigrees were in residence that evening. Edna thanked her for understanding Trixie’s uniqueness.
"Let's be off then," Edna shouted while waving her gloved right hand around in the air as if swatting away a bee. Cloverdale’s Operatic Society followed in a single file line through the hotel’s large brass revolving doors and out into the cold night for the short walk to the National Theater. Doris made a point to be last out. The smile which emerged from her heavily madeup face, reflected the pride she took in knowing their cultural evening was her suggestion. She didn't have the best voice (classified as a scratchy alto) but she did know how to entertain.
Opening to Bach's St. Matthew Passion