It is off to the opening night of the Canterlot Music Festival in my Equestria dreamscape. The main event that evening was the performance of Canterlot Symphony with special appearance by one of the raising stars in the world of Equestrian classical music. Octavia. For the evening's festivities Petina, Myself and Carousel had a box at the concert hall to watch the performance and then passes to the invitation only reception after the performance. So decked out in our finest for the evening we left our hotel and caught a cab to the concert hall. The night was clear and crisp with the first hints of the approaching winter. The boulevard leading to the concert hall was bathed in gaslight and bright festive banners hung from the lamp posts. Gleaming cabriolets, brilliant broughams, shiny barouches, and humble hansom cabs slowly made their way up to the great concert hall. All along sidewalks were ponies of all types dressed up for the nights big event. Carousel was practically bouncing up and down in her seat as she stared out at all the ponies in the procession. For her this was a magical moment.
Finally our cab pulled up to the entrance of the symphony house. Soaring six stories or more above us its fine marble facade and towering columns spoke of generations of devotion to the pursuit of perfection in the musical arts. Ushers in smart black and violet jackets directed the crowd to their seats and boxes. The rich crimson carpet lined the hallways. The air was filled with the scent of rose, jasmine, lavender and other exotic fragrances. A slight haze hung in the air outside the main hall as many a stallion, and few mares, enjoyed a cigar, cigarette or pipe before the performance. Mares with brilliant blue dresses stood by with trays of drinks and quick snacks to offer any pony needed a quick refreshment before the concert began.
Petina, Carousel and myself quickly found our box. I'll say this, the Princesses were very generous to offer us these seats since we had an excellent view of the stage from our location, and even to my untrained ear I could tell the acoustics were excellent. From our location we could watch the symphony going over their final preparations for evenings performance. Standing alone by herself was star of tonights concert, Octavia. Quietly and gracefully she made final adjustments to her instrument. She had an almost bored look on her face as she awaited the beginning of the concert. After about fifteen minutes a deep bell chimed solemnly three times as warning that the performance was about to begin. The last ponies were finding their seats as the lights slowly began to fade in the hall. Then the concert began.
Now ever since I started having dreams in Equestria I have gained more interest in Classical music so I rather enjoyed the evenings performance. The main act was a concerto by Bay Icemane called The "Falls of the Shadowmane Mountains". This concerto had several demanding cello solos in it and it was here that Octavia's mastery of her instrument really stood out. With eyes closed the gray earth pony mare became almost one with her instrument as music flowed from deep polished wood of the cello. Most of the solos were slow and solemn. However the finale was a number called "The Rapids before the Final Falls". As she began this final solo Octavia's playing became more animated and passionate. She began swaying back and forth with instruments. Like two lovers dancing in the night by themselves. Her charcoal ash mane and tail started swishing and flowing to and fro as tempo increased. The bow in her hoof started dancing across the strings as music told the story of the waters racing toward the point where they would plunge over a thousand feet drop to the valley floor. With final dramatic flourish she finished. Head thrown back. Her immaculate mane now somewhat disheveled she stared up into darkness of the ceiling. Her breath ragged and quick as she recovered from her performance. The audience rose to their hooves and clopped them enthusiastically for the performance they had seen. Octavia slowly lowered her head and smiled back at the audience. After a minute of general applause for the whole symphony and the conductor the concert ended.
After the performance we headed downstairs to a secondary hall where the reception was to take place. Through ornately carved walnut double doors we entered into a Kelly green carpeted hall that could easily accommodate more than two hundred ponies. The ceiling was at least fifteen above us and was decorated with ornate plaster carvings that were painted in the same pale cream color as the walls. Several large paintings in elaborate gold frames adorned the walls. I recognized none of the ponies in them and I assumed they must be portraits of famous musicians and composers. Upon tables covered with bright white tablecloths were trays of hors-d oeuvres and glasses of champagne and other beverages to enjoy. After a bit of grazing Petina, Carousel and I started mingling amongst to concert goers and members of the symphony who had decided to grace us with their presence. After about half hour the star of the evening entered the hall and received another round of applause from all gathered. Her charcoal mane and tail once again neatly groomed and her signature white linen collar and mauve bow tie precisely back in place Octavia strolled victoriously into the reception hall. I was pleasantly amused that the rumors were true about the earth pony mare as she immediately went to one of the drink tables where an assistant was already pouring a half inch of golden whiskey into a tumbler. After adding a dash of mineral water she took the drink. She then took the next few minutes to enjoy the whiskey as she began navigating her way through the crowd. Stopping every once and while to make small talk or receive some compliment from a well-wisher.
Myself, Petina and Carousel got an opportunity to congratulate and thank Octavia for a wonderful performance. Octavia's voice was soft like a breeze blowing through one's mane on summer evening. After making some prerequisite small talk she excused herself and left to find some other party in the crowd. As she left, I caught Petina giving Octavia one of Petina's signature long stares as the earth pony's flowing tail and slim grey flanks vanished in the room crowd. With a slight impish smile on her face she turned back to me while muttering. "Oh, I bet she gives a fine performance in private." I just groaned and rolled my eyes at the white unicorn. "You know you are positively predatory at times." "Yeah and your point?" Petina replied. Shaking my head I just smiled at her. "Never mind me." "Well then, if this conservation is not going anywhere please keep Carousel company for a bit dear." Without another word Petina headed off across the room; her eyes locked on a young stallion who had caught her attention. Carousel strolled up and just smiled and watched her go. "Well does she know what she likes and wants. Kind of reminds of someone else I know." So for the next half hour or so Carousel and I kept each other company until our wayward unicorn returned and we headed back to the hotel. It had been a wonderful evening.