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Operagoers, Heal Thyselves

December 27, 1987

I write what surely must be the umpteenth open letter to the citizens of Los Angeles about their attendance at musical events.

I attended a performance of "Tristan und Isolde" at the Music Center Dec. 15. I seemed to be surrounded by every sick person in the city; I have never heard so much coughing, sneezing, wheezing during a performance in my life.

Please, people, don't drag yourself out of your sickbed to come to a performance! Do the rest of us a favor and give your tickets to someone who won't be digging for a coughdrop or tissue and spreading germs all around the auditorium with incessant irritating explosions of various sorts. (Is it my imagination or do people really cough more during the soft parts?)

While I'm at it, a word regarding watches that beep every hour, on the hour--RUDE! The night I attended the opera, the performance ended promptly at 11. How do I know? I know because as the last wonderful, ethereal chord drifted to my ears, watches began to beep!

Can't you people tell what time it is without your watch going off? And why should you be concerned? You've already committed yourself to five hours of opera; lay back and enjoy it and turn your bleeping watches off!

Well, I feel better now, whether this letter is published or not.

LAURA HEIMAN

Long Beach

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