Summary: He would willingly exchange his soul for another verse of song from her lips, without care of consequence…
I’ve been suffering from writer’s block where Mr. Moseley’s concerned. For this story, you must thank Bryn Terfel and his Annual Operatic Gala at the Faenol (near Snowdonia, Wales).
Also, I’d like to dedicate this work of fiction to nakedlights - I don’t believe I’ve truly thanked her for inviting me to this community. Enjoy.
As a young gentleman – a young British gentleman - William Moseley frequently found himself drawn into the most sophisticated of social circles, which, in turn, resulted (more often than not) in highly sought-after invitations to various events. These consisted of everything from charity do’s to the Russian Ballet’s five-day performance at the West End. And, quite frankly, he found these affairs quite tedious. Or ‘boring’, to be especially blunt.
He was a nineteen-year-old male, who would much rather spend dusk till dawn at a pub, surrounded by beautiful ladies and empty beer bottles.
However, he was being kept on a tight leash where his outward actions were concerned, thanks to the paparazzi. So it seemed making an appearance at these social events was the best thing for him, despite the insufferable company.
Sometimes, Anna would accompany him (mainly due to his incessant pleas). Her sole purpose was to keep him sane amidst the stuffy upper-class crowd who had become his fellows somewhere along the line.
But, for the most part, he was left to endure the presence of these intolerable gits alone, and often felt as though he were being suffocated by their approving smiles and idle chit-chat.
This evening, he found himself clad in a tuxedo once more – the collar tight around his neck. He tugged at the starch-hardened material for what had to be the hundredth time, and found little relief in spite of his efforts.
Tonight, he’d been invited to an Operatic Festival at the Royal Albert Hall. If he truly wanted to endure hours of shrieking women and bellowing bald blokes, he could have easily gone home for the weekend. His family would have served as an acceptable substitute.
William chuckled to himself suddenly – an image of a fat lady in a Viking helmet popping up in his head.
God. He needed a drink.
Pale blue eyes briefly scanned the limo’s mini-bar.
No. There’d be plenty of champagne at the after-party, no doubt. And it would do no good to stink of booze first thing. He could just picture the disgusted frowns sent his way as the bitter aroma of alcohol flowed off him in waves…
He’d wait until after. Then he could find a quiet little corner and drink to his heart’s content.
In the distance, he could see the great dome of the Royal Albert Hall drawing ever nearer, appearing particularly spectacular in the orange glow of floodlights, and thus stuck out like a sore thumb against the pitch-black canvas of night. Already, there was a large crowd huddled at the main entrance – journalists and photographers, most likely.
William braced himself for the tidal wave of questions and requests that would no doubt ensue, breathing in deeply. The limo rolled to a halt, and, thanking the driver, he swung open the door himself (as he always insisted on doing – being an actor didn’t make one completely incompetent). Sure enough, he was blinded by camera flashes, and deafened by demands of ‘a quick word’. He took on the world with a smile, but inwardly grimaced – this sort of attention was growing tiresome, fast.
After several brief stops and poses for cameras and reporters alike, he entered the hall, shoulders slumping ever so slightly in relief. With a flash of his ticket, he was allowed to pass, and swept up a programme before climbing the winding staircase to one of the higher levels.
The theatre itself seemed only a quarter full. Then again, he was early, having believed his premature arrival would allow a bypass of meaningless conversation with those who considered themselves superior, in every sense of the word, to your average homo sapien. Still, he directed a smile to his neighbours while lowering himself into a red-velvet seat with a mental sigh.
Tonight would be a long night…
The Hall gradually filled, and after what seemed like an age, the lights dimmed – a gold beam concentrated on the stage below. And so began the show.
The first to perform was a greasy-haired Mexican by the name of Rolando Villazón. The bloke was most definitely a great tenor. But was it really necessary to contort his face in such a fashion while singing? In fact, at times, it looked as though he had a white-hot poker stuck up his…
William bit down on his fist to suppress a laugh.
As the third song began, he pondered excusing himself to the lavatories upon the next, and conveniently ‘getting lost’. The glass-shattering voices were beginning to give him a headache, and he suspected he would not be able to endure another twelve performances.
Yes. He would wait until all attention turned to the fourth Opera singer, and discretely make his exit. Luckily, he was seated next to the aisle, and fairly close to a fire exit.
However, his cunning plan was swiftly forgotten when a young woman ascended to the stage. She couldn’t have been older than eighteen. Her dark hair hung sleek about her shoulders, glistening in the light like black satin. Her skin was a healthy bronze, hinting as to her Nationality. Greek perhaps? Or Spanish? William gave his programme a quick once-over.
Elaena Portillo. That was her name…
A native of Murcia, Spain, apparently.
His head snapped up as the orchestra began to play. It was a stunningly eerie tune – trance-inducing, almost. And then, she opened her mouth to sing.
William was taken aback by the pureness of her voice. It was unlike those of her predecessors – not forced, just… natural. And it didn’t rattle his eardrums (which was a great relief). It seemed to unwind something in him, and he found himself relaxing back into his seat with a slow exhale.
She sang, swaying with the tune, and in so doing, causing her curve-hugging dress to flare about her knees ever so slightly. That and the voice combined reduced William to an air-headed fool. He couldn’t think clearly – the soft melody completely taking over his senses.
In those three long minutes, he felt as though he were soaring – suspended in air and walking on clouds.
When Elaena’s performance came to a close, he applauded the hardest, and had to fight the urge to cry out in delight or whistle his approval.
The following songs were dull in comparison…