• Look at Me, I'm Shouting "Bravo!"

    By Bizzy Coy

  • At the end of any classical music event, there is always one man who shouts BRAVO before the song even ends.


    I am that man.


    I don’t care that the rest of the audience is trying to savor the final note, still ringing in the air. My BRAVO is crucial so that everyone knows how wonderful the performance was, and how special I am.


    It might surprise you to know that BRAVO Shouter is a paid position that has existed since the time of Mozart. My mighty shout was actually written into the original sheet music for everything from ballets to operas, concertos to oratorios. You can see it right there in the final measure: BRAVO (obnoxio forte).


    It was not easy to land this lucrative job. I had to audition against dozens of loud, smug men in tuxedos. But I shouted the loudest and the smuggest, and therefore I got the gig.


    Others have tried and failed to shout BRAVO before me. Once I shouted BRAVO and somebody else shouted BRAVISSIMO, but I managed to shout BRAVISSISSIMO and then I strangled him with my top hat.


    I shout BRAVO after I climax in bed. Regardless of my partner’s pleasure, I shout it as soon as my denouement begins. If my partner is a man, I shout BRAVO and if it is a woman, I shout BRAVA, even though I am congratulating myself and not her. If my partner exists outside the binary or if there are multiple sexual partners involved, I shout BRAVI. If anyone laughs at my insistence on correct Italian grammar, I force them to accompany me to the symphony, where I, in turn, laugh at them if they dare applaud between movements. Like a LOSER.


    Perhaps you’ve heard of my nemesis, the woman who starts standing ovations. She’s a huge deal on Broadway. Good shows, bad shows, front row, back row—it doesn’t matter. She stands at the end of them all. Tacky and tasteless, if you ask me, but nobody asks me, because I would shout BRAVO and heave a bouquet of roses at their face.


    It’s not easy being a BRAVO Shouter. The market is dwindling. Orchestras these days don’t have the budget to pay women performers the same as men, let alone fly me cross-country to their next performance. And the next generation doesn’t even know what BRAVO means. They think I’m referring to the reality television channel, which I did only one time, when the Real Housewives played Ravel’s Bolero at Carnegie Hall. It was truly spectacular.


    But does anybody appreciate my contribution to society?


    Does anybody applaud MY efforts?


    No. They’re too busy telling me that I ruined the expensive recording of the concert with my incessant BRAVOs. Look, audio engineer, we’re all professionals here. I’m doing my job, same as you.


    So why do I shout BRAVO? Simple. The love of the music. The love of interrupting the music. The desperate need to appear classy and cultured in front of my peers. So the next time you see me in your local concert hall, don’t be shy. Come on over and make me feel as important as I believe I am. Tell me the one word I’ve been longing to hear: BRAVO.