I took advantage of having some time this weekend to have a look at the new "French Market" that opened shortly before Christmas at the Ogilvie Metra station just across the river from the Lyric Opera. It has been warmly welcomed and much praised so I thought I should catch up with it. And our favorite cheese shop, Pastoral (above), opened up there. In fact so busy was it this morning that I could not get a word in to buy any cheese there so I contented myself with a couple of excellent New York strips from the butcher.
This is an excellent new addition for those West Loop residents and commuters who use the Metra train service from the suburbs.
Tomorrow we will be at the Lyric the opening performance of Le nozze di Figaro, unusually a 2pm afternoon performance instead of the usual Saturday evening. This was a particularly good move as far as we are concerned since we can bring our opera loving child for whom an evening performance is impossible. And we will be sitting near the front where we can get a really good look at the cast (and vice-versa)!
To prepare for this we spent some time this afternoon going through the story with the help of the wonderful 1987 Glyndebourne recording of the opera, conducted by Bernard Haitink with two Chicago singers in leading roles - Gianna Rolandi, now director of the Ryan Center, and Richard Stilwell, a distinguished member of the CCPA faculty. How good to be reminded of the outstanding gifts of these two singers - and the whole performance gave such a pleasurable reminder of the Haitink Mozart era at Glyndebourne. We recorded Cosi and Don Giovanni with Haitink as well with the cream of the casts of the 1980s. All these were made in the legendary Abbey Road Studios of EMI. Their availability is pretty sketchy but well worth seeking out.
Now for a quiet Saturday evening.......