I am delighted to be in Wales for the week - land of song indeed with a fine opera company in Cardiff, just a few miles from where I am, and homeland of one of the great singers of our day - Bryn Terfel. The Welsh have contributed so much to the opera world internationally. Geraint Evans was one of the all time greats. And choral singing is a national passion for the Welsh.
There is a fine new opera house for the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff. This company was run for years by Brian McMaster, recently retired director of the Edinburgh Festival. Brian was succeded by Matthew Epstein, later Artistic Director of Chicago's Lyric Opera. And he was succeeded by Anthony Freud, now General Director of Houston Grand Opera. The new General Director is John Fisher, former Artistic director of the Fenice in Venice, then a lippar of the Metropolitan Opera until last year when he went to Wales. So this is a company with a first class pedigree.
But I am here for a short break with my family. Please do not expect too much of me this week. There are other priorities. But log on just in case!