A True Standing Ovation for Music that Moves
Where are the white cliffs of Dover? What are the white cliffs of Dover? Beats me. All I know is when Stephanie Blythe sang about them at a recital I was recently privileged enough to attend at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, there was not a dry eye in the house and not a single person still seated at the end of it. I’ve heard songs with more moving lyrics and more moving melodies (although this is a good one). But, the artistry of Ms. Blythe, her attention to detail, and the perfect collaboration with Mr. Craig Terry all worked together to make this an unforgettable performance, that in some way moved each audience member.
Standing ovations are a bit common place these days (unfortunately). But, this one happened organically and spontaneously – in the middle of a concert! This was not Ms. Blythe’s finale folks! This was only about ¾ of the way through the program! While there was not a recording of the recital I attended, here are two YouTube links to the same duo performing the same song (one live version and one recording studio version). Do yourself a favor and listen to the whole thing of at least one of these (all 5 minutes of it).
Stephanie Blythe’s natural gift and her flawless technique are why her first opera house as an emerging artist was the Met (yeah, you heard me). Recordings are not the same as live, but trust me, it was worthy of the standing ovation it received.
So, when are standing ovations really appropriate?
By definition a standing ovation is a form of applause where members of a seated audience stand up while applauding after an extraordinary performance of particularly high acclaim. Standing ovations are considered to be a special honor. This is in contrast to just applause. Applause is a sign of respect and recognition. Respect for the presenter and what they are presenting and recognition of the work they have put in. Even bad performances deserve respect and therefore should receive applause. Standing ovations are given by audience members when they feel something is extraordinary. Using this logic, you do not have to stand just because everyone else is! I know it’s an uncomfortable thought, but it’s okay.
Just food for thought. You can keep standing with the crowd if you want, it’s okay. But, I challenge you to be on the lookout for things that really move you. They’re out there – I promise! I am one of the most practical, immovable audience members you’ll run across (because I’m always analyzing and thinking critically about what’s being presented), but things can even move me once in a blue moon.
Hope you experience something worth standing for soon!