By Gerrard, Arts and Culture Reporter for The AG
This evening saw the inaugural performance of the newly formed Arendelle Philharmonic, an orchestra employed by Queen Anna on state funds to showcase the musical talents of Arendellian musicians and strengthen the kingdom’s cultural footprint.
The piece the queen chose was Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E♭ major, Op. 73, and tonight the newly appointed Kingdom Hall, the new beacon for all things cultural and artistic, was packed with Arendelle’s beautiful and powerful.
Tonight’s weather was appropriately sublime, with a beautiful crescent moon and a pleasantly cool sea breeze wafting through the spacious, airy architecture of Kingdom Hall. The night’s statement was exactly as Her Majesty wanted: that Arendelle wasn’t to be defined by its military ventures, like the recent pillaging of the Southern Isles and the subsequent confrontation with three much larger empires.
The guest of honour was, of course, Her Majesty, although mingling among the pre-concert cocktail rounds were some familiar faces: Lady Maren, Anna’s diplomatic right hand; Kristoff, the queen’s consort and managing director of the kingdom’s largest company, Bjorgman House; and General Mattias, the queen’s top military man. Among the crowd, this journalist could spot our editor, the Chief herself, talking animatedly with Anglo-Persian investor Nahir al-Adil, a new business presence in the kingdom (and who has appeared in our press rival, the Fjord Times), and familiar faces like Sir Alan speaking with the Snow Queen’s biographer, Seeker. I glimpsed Master Michael, founder and chairman of A&N Freightlines and family friend of the queen, talking tersely with the fearsome paramilitary commander Hilde Von Altheim, who had apparently been persuaded by the queen to speak with him.
Despite clashing rivalries, tensions, and ideologies, all leaders had to pay homage to Queen Anna tonight.
Olaf was nowhere to be seen, perhaps already occupying with Kristoff the best seats at the front of the balcony.
Commander Hilde’s return to Arendelle had got off to a terrifying start: she was the one responsible for the wholesale destruction of the Southern Isles in the first place. Decked in her night-black general’s outfit, Hilde projected an icy aura far colder than Elsa’s winter magic with her serpentine gaze and forbidding medals, many of them honours from countries most Arendellians hadn’t even visited. Few of the merchant princes, cultural figures, or political names and nobles lasted long in her dictatorial presence. She and Queen Anna’s own general, Mattias, managed to exchange strained small talk before fleeing each other, thankful to be free from further pleasantries for the night. Or perhaps they weren’t indulging in trivial gossip, but verbally sparring over who might triumph in an actual military confrontation – spirits forbid that such a thing ever happen on Arendellian or Northuldran soil.
For the true power-broking was done at the queen’s private box during the performance, between Her Majesty and another guest who was invited but unannounced. The shadowy Viola, the brunette, crimson-eyed countess who was known around Arendelle’s fashionable and crème de la crème to be Hilde’s childhood classmate and current employer, sat beside Her Majesty, muttering intimately with her throughout the night. While our newspaper won’t be privy to what was discussed until the Chief returns to the newsroom, we at The AG can certainly speculate with confidence that sensitive matters like Anna’s foreign policy and the recent diplomatic confrontation with China, the Ottomans, and Great Britain passed between them. Her Majesty might discuss more about this in her column later.
Popularly known as the “Emperor Concerto” due to Beethoven’s initial dedication of the piece to the French statesman and military leader Napoleon Bonaparte, the acclaimed composer’s piece (which was only completed several decades ago) was done justice by the Arendelle Philharmonic’s members, who are composed of mostly young and fresh faces exhibiting extraordinary musical talent. The queen’s aim is to invest heavily in the Philharmonic, propelling it into a position to be able to tour Europe and perform at venues on par with those frequented by the likes of Austria, France, and Russia’s orchestral groups.