"Genius!" and "Brilliant!"
And who would nod his head in approval and clap his hands far from his body while chuckling aloud. We didn't speak during the first two acts, but after the first intermission he began a conversation with me.
He was amused and perhaps a bit impressed that two young American girls were interested in Opera. (Ellen, one of my roommates was with me)
He asked me if this was my first taste of opera, and I replied "no".
He asked me where I was from and when I said, "from Florida,"
he threw his head back and laughed a deep, loud laugh.
He had just gotten back from Bradenton, FL where his daughter is training for tennis.
He asked me all sorts of detailed questions about Florida and where I went to school and why I'm here and where I think I'll go next. He was pleased to hear that Ellen and I are English teachers, saying,
"I am glad you are teaching my fellow compatriots English."
From the tone of his voice, he sounded generally distressed at the fact that a lot of Czechs just don't care. Which has also been a growing concern of mine as well.
I am so glad to have met and talked with him. He refreshed my views of Czechs, giving them an overall appealing and cultured impression. After all, they do go to the Opera at an alarmingly often rate. He was not the average Czech who often cuts me off or hits me with his bag or yells at me for sitting in the "old ladies" seat on the tram. No, he was of a finer quality than his "compatriots." I suppose that is to be expected since I was sitting in the most expensive section in the theatre after only paying 100kc for my ticket....($5USD)
Oh the joys of being a foreigner in a foreign country! ;)