July 14, 1989 200th Anniversary Celebrations of the French Republic
Soprano Jessye Norman at Place de la Concorde singing La Marseillaise
At the time of this performance, Merlin was still incarnate. Pandora, my adorable sister, was then living in Paris and attended the celebrations. There had been plans for me to go to Paris for the 200th anniversary celebrations and though Merlin had given me his blessings to go, I chose to stay with him instead. He was suffering Cadida and clearly the end was coming up fast on the horizon.
As Merlin and I sat in bed in our Cabbagetown home watching television, this performance was the highlight of the experience for us. At the end, I riotously screamed to which Merlin, ever the director, – just as equally teary-eyed as me – whispered, “Now that’s theatre!”
I can think of no more fitting contribution to what has transpired in Paris in the past week, especially the response on Sunday last, than to celebrate the noble spirit of a people who will never, ever, be vanquished. Marchons!
Those who know nothing but fear strike and then run away like cowards.
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