I am unclassified. Unclassifiable? If, in these situations, I were to answer that I am a singer, a musician, I would be seriously misleading these people. I play the piano, but not very well. I have sung in university choirs, but only those without strict auditions (I tried the latter, and failed.) I am the cantor of the weekly psalm, but for a congregation whose musically literate members could be counted on one's fingers. (Two months, and two traumatic debacles: a cracked note, and one terrible time of simply not finding the intervals in the first iteration of the refrain. The vicar probably notices. The organist, a deeply passionate and professionally active musician, certainly does, and is kind enough to console and advise. Others compliment me.) But even if/though I am "not a musician," does this disqualify me from being a serious audience member? Interlocutors tend to be surprised if it is once established that yes, I can read a score, or yes, I am familiar with a selection of singers and recordings from the 1950s onward.
As long as I am launched and away, I'll be frank: I resent that my chatty group of three friends (one a first-time opera-goer) was coldly glared at before the start of Intermezzo by a gray-haired gentleman who snoozed through the first half of the opera and left before the second. I resent that I am someone who doesn't "fit" in a classical music audience according to many of its other members; it's a painfully lonely feeling. I am deeply grateful to all the philanthropic initiatives which make it possible for me to be a member of this audience. But while arts organizations try to educate youngish audiences about classical music... how do we--the passionate, the penniless, the trying-to-be-well-informed--educate our fellow audience-members about us? I'm not even sure if this is Petty Resentment or an Important Question to Ponder. Sorry, Gentle Readers; reviews as usual soon, in which Petty Resentment will be kept at a minimum.