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Boston Weather: 35.0°F | A Few Clouds

BSO Rush Tickets

By Jonathan Richmond
advisory board

The music was mesmerizing: Pain rarely gets delivered with such rapture as from the agonized legato of the Boston Symphony Orchestra strings as they underlined Butterfly's destiny; or from brilliant wind playing whose elements of bright hope blended with other orchestral voices to spell plangent despair. This was Seiji Ozawa leading the BSO in a performance where music has no restrictions and the larger than life is entirely credible.

The spellbinding singing of Paula Delligatti the evening's Madama Butterfly was special, for artifice seemed absent while the strangely fictitious truth that is art was projected with the purity which music alone can provide. The power of her performance drew on the stature of Ozawa's complex yet transparent conception: one in which music became unbridled emotion. This was a great orchestra at work and being led by genius through a golden age.

Ozawa's 25th anniversary season with the BSO is clearly special and if you haven't planned in advance, there's a way to get in to a sold-out performance on the day as I did Wednesday night. 100 rush tickets are sold for every Tuesday and Thursday evening performance (and for the occasional Wednesday), starting at 5 p.m. They only cost $8 and if you turn up an hour early you should generally be ok: the fact that the BSO makes you wait outside, coupled with the current freezing weather is helpful, as it deters those of weaker spirit.