Here are the minutes from the annual general meeting of the International Association of Bravo Guys.
The preliminary results of our member survey are in, and we’re happy to report that:
35% of our members shout “bravo” before the applause because they can longer contain their appreciation of the performance
53% are indifferent to the actual concert but are engaged in fierce competition with other local members to be the first to shout “bravo”
13% get really frustrated sitting quietly for the length of a concert
4% have a rare form of Tourettes
1% wrote “echolocation” and gave no further details
Membership figures continue to grow as venues continue to be built and opportunities to be the first person to shout “bravo” now arise in more contexts than ever before.
The option has arisen to merge with a number of other vocal audience participation groups with substantial crossover in membership. After surprisingly heated debate it was agreed not to formally join forces with the Global Society of People who Shout Encore, the Union of People Who Bring Scores to Concerts or The Society for the Advancement of Shushing Anybody Who Claps Between Movements.
We will continue to work together on issues of mutual interest.
Declensions Working Group
The Italian delegation helpfully explained that “Bravo” is for one a male performers, “Brava” is for a female performer, “Brave” (pron. Bravé) is for a group of women and “Bravi” for a group of performers at least one of which is male.
The French contingent said they use “Bravo” for everyone, and the expression has entered common usage in France, making the Italian usage entirely irrelevant.
An English member pointed out that proscriptive grammar was an approach largely discredited among linguists, and that an observational approach examining common usage would be more productive.
The American delegation observed that “Bravo” is more satisfying to say loudly.
A motion was offered to rename the society “The International Association of Bravo (or Any Variation Thereof) Guys”.
Following a lengthy and largely unproductive discussion, it was agreed that the Association should not take an official position on any of this and everybody would carry on shouting whatever they want.
Following complaints from the Operatic Chapter, the chair would like to remind members that:
1) Members may not shout “bravo” (or any variation thereof) until after the performers have ceased producing the final note.
2) The window of opportunity lasts until either:
i) The reverberation of the last note ceases to be audible
ii) Another member shouts “bravo” (or any variation thereof)
iii) More than three members of the audience (not including the stage manager) begin to applaud in earnest
3) If another member begins their “Bravo” before you, they have right of way and you must yield
4) If you regard another member’s “Bravo” to use the wrong declension, it is acceptable to follow up with a “Bravo” of your own to ensure the correct utterance is made at least once, but it is considered the height of discourtesy to emphasise the second syllable
5) Exceptions to Rule (1) only apply to through-composed operas listed in the appendix
The recordings working group delivered the disappointing news that:
1) The Musicians Union do not consider “Bravo Guy” to be a legitimate category of performer
2) PPL do not currently acknowledge “Bravo” as a musical work as defined by the Berne Convention because it consists of a single word and is not meaningfully pitched. They have not yet responded to our query regarding “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, which we await with interest.
3) Warner/Chappell declined our offer of a license on the grounds that their legal department still hasn’t forgiven them for the “Happy Birthday” debacle.
As things stand, the working group’s recommendation is that members should only shout “bravo” during live recordings if they are prepared to do so on a pro-bono basis. This being in line with the current compensation arrangements for live performances, it was hoped that the membership would continue their enthusiastic work in this area.
Following several submissions from the floor it was agreed to revisit the question of allowing female members.
There were no objections among those present, but as this requires an amendment to the Association’s articles of constitution, it was agreed to refer the matter to a vote of the full membership.
It was observed that the entire question may be moot: since the Association’s founding as an offshoot of the Council of Trent in 1563, records show that not once has “bravo guy” turned out to be female.
Any Other Business
Following the incident last year, we are once again looking for a venue to host our Christmas dinner. Suggestions to the chair of the Entertainments Committee, please.
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