Covent Garden remains an exotic place and it is wonderful to see how it remains colorful long after Eliza Doolittle's departure. Just look at Neal's Yard at 10 o'clock this morning, rain sodden as it was. This was before the horrendous holiday crowds appeared and spoiled the place - probably around midday.
So I had my London auditions at the Royal Opera House as always. And as usual there were NO English candidates. They are either too rich or too lazy - probably both. But they are also in many cases very talented and are foregoing the possibility of earning a lot of money in just a few days. What luxury to be able to afford that. I need to speak to the teachers - one of the leading ones is moving from the Royal College to the Royal Academy. He also happens to be my eldest son's Godfather! I will have to get at him.
Meanwhile two excellent candidates from London are going through to the finals. One is South African and the other Korean. And at the same time I hear that the formerly Vilar, and now Jette Parker, Royal Opera Young artists program does not have a single British singer in it. As everyone knows I am a great fan of internationalism - but this is very strange. No doubt in part the result of Tony Blair's brilliant ten years of mismanagement of the UK.
I leave for Chicago tomorrow at noon. It has been a long three weeks and I will be really happy to be home.