Yesterday evening, DH and I went to the opera at Glyndebourne, as guests of some old friends who are members of the Festival Society, which guarantees them access to the much sort after tickets. It was a magical evening.
Glyndebourne is the original country house opera - a privately funded opera house built in the grounds of a country mansion. The audience picnic in the gardens before the production and/or during interval (interval length depends on the number of acts in the opera. Last night, our interval lasted over an hour). Everyone is in black tie - the men wear tuxedos and the women cocktail dresses.
Paul and Shelagh provided the food and we provided the drinks (Pimms, chardonnay, Schloer for the drivers). No other drink typifies an English summer more than Pimms!
Here is a shot of our hosts:
And one of me and DH:
Yes, it was cold after the sun went down.
Last night's production was Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. The story line is pretty basic: boy loves girl above his social station; girl doesn't care for him but teases him unmercifully; boy decides to give girl cold shoulder; girl get engaged to someone else to teach boy a lesson; eventually girl declares her love for boy and all live happily ever after. The plot doesn't really matter, though - the music is beautiful. Glyndebourne updated the staging to the 1940's, with the hero acting as an electrician.
I haven't been to the opera for at least 4 years (since the last time Paul and Shelagh invited us to Glyndebourne). This time, we enjoyed it so much that I've put my name down on the waiting list for associate membership. I wish I'd done it earlier - only 15 years to wait. :o)