#1 - Words Matter
For example, last night we did not see the Messiah at the Disney Concert Hall. The event we attended was not a personal appearance. Had it been, they probably would have given us those nifty seats at the rear of the stage that I requested when I ordered our concert series because the place would have been full. But, no. The Messiah did not personally appear. Here's what happened. We attended a performance of The Messiah by George Frideric Handel. You see, words do matter.
#2 - Two hours and forty-five minutes is a really long time to sit listening to anything. I suspect that in 1743 people's attention spans had not been destroyed by television and twitter and, dare I say, blogs.
#3 - When sitting in the front row of the top balcony at the Disney Concert Hall it's important to try and not sneeze -- especially if you happen to have a cough drop in your mouth at the time of the sneeze. Such events really distract the guy on the stage playing the kettle drums.
#4 - It's hard to hold your cough until the short pauses between the sections of oratorio but you have to on account of the amazing acoustics at the Disney. If you can't hold the cough, trust me. Everyone in the concert hall will hear you including the counter tenor just beginning to sing about behold a virgin shall conceive.
#5 - It is possible to pull out of a deep depression and compose a chorus so moving people stand and weep when they hear it. And if you don't believe me, listen to the most famous piece in this very long composition. The Hallelujah chorus is not, I assure you, at all depressing. So one trick to managing depression, it seems, is to create. Especially if you happen to be named Handel.