Went to Symphonie Fantastique tonight. I really needed to go, cause I needed to connect with someone tonight. Unfortunately, midway through the second movement of one of the opening pieces, a Mozart concerto, a older man two rows in front of my and four seats to the left yelled out. He sounded kind of like a mentally disabled person, but when I stood up and looked, he appeared to be having a spasm. His face was stretched out in fear, and he continued to yell. My first thought was heart attack. He had people to either side, so I dashed to the hallway and told one of the ushers to get a doctor and call 911. Then I rushed back in, hoping I wouldn't have to help with CPR or something like that, cause I don't know what is the correct thing to do and I didn't want to hurt him further. A number of people were lifting him out of his chair to lay him down in an aisle. Luckily, this was not a low-budget local band in concert. The people at the symphony are pretty affluent, and that means there were lots of doctors within several rows. The symphony was still playing, although it was not even 30 seconds since he had first cried out. They heard, but weren't sure what was going on; the conductor was directing without looking at the orchestra, looking back out toward the commotion. Deborah was on the phone with 911, as were about 4 or 5 other people. The orchestra stopped, and we had an early intermission while the man was moved to the hallway outside where there was more room. He didn't look unconscious, but he looked to be in pain, not able to move, and very afraid.
Most everyone shuffled out of the auditorium, and we had our intermission. When they resumed the concert, the man was still in the hallways, but it appeared like they were getting ready to remove him. I noticed only one seat was empty. He had come alone.
Symphonie Fantastique was wonderful. I like imagining the visions that Berlioz intended this to be evoking. Demons and whatnot. The piece is rich, harps and horns and strings. A few oboes, one in a prominent duet. None done to excess. And definitely a contrast with the opening Mozart pieces.
I'm kind of glad I don't know what happened to the gentleman having the problem. Going on with the showing knowing he had died would have ruined it. And I am glad it was not ruined by the man, as callous as that may seem. No one blithely continued, ignoring the situation, but no one got so caught up that we all had to go home either. Nevertheless I was tense for a good half hour after the incident. I do hope he is either dead or nicely sedated and recovering, because he looked to be in a lot of pain.