Glyndebourne. Not just for connoisseurs
When one is invited to Glyndebourne, it really is both an honour and a privilege. One because of tradition, it all began in 1934 when founder John Christie met the soprano Audrey Mildmay and also because it is one of the most celebrated opera houses in the world with over 150,000 people visiting over the summer season. Whatever plans one has, you should leave enough time to enjoy all that Glyndebourne has to offer, so arriving late should not be an option. The gate opened at 3pm and if the English weather is trying to be Mediterranean then walking around the gardens is one of those wonderful British pleasures as is viewing The White Cube Gallery or the Organ Room. We were lucky enough to arrive in time for a quick drink in the Long Bar, to meet our hosts George and Laura from the Marketing department at Glyndebourne who were kind enough to invite us. The performance began at 5:30. It was Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia or to you and I The Barber of Seville. From the outside the Opera House is impressive, this new opera house opened in 1994, when you get inside, it is very beautiful and intimate even though it seats 1,200. We were lucky enough to be seated in the Foyer circle at the side and the front, which gave us the added view of the most wonderful and energetic conductor Enrique Mazzola who was conducting The London Philharmonic Orchestra – while Danielle de Niese, Taylor Stayton and Björn Bürger were playing the 3 leading roles. While not the most educated or enlightened opera goer, from the moment the orchestra struck their first chord to the final curtain call, I was enthralled, enraptured, entertained and amused beyond words. Luckily enough for us we were also able to enjoy fine food and wine in the Mildmay restaurant during the long dining interval and had enough time to visit the White Cube with an exhibition of new work by Raqib Shaw. While the restaurant facilities are superb, one can also take (or have provided) the wonderful British traditional that of picnicking, in their beautifully manicured garden. This season is practically sold out, but it really should be on everyone’s summer calendar, so put it in your 2017 calendar now or see them on tour if you can’t wait click here.
Peter Smith and Justin Mallinson featured above.