An "unresolved smoke detector malfunction" has led to my flight to London being cancelled, so I am spending all day in the comfortable American Airlines Admirals Club instead of in a moderately comfortable economy extra seat on an ancient 767. I will now arrive in London Heathrow at 7:45 tomorrow morning.......
Nathan Gunn, Isabel Leonard and Alessandro Corbelli in Lyric Opera's Il barbiere di Siviglia
But the upside is that I can do my blog about the immensely enjoyable Barber at Lyric yesterday evening.
Over my thirteen years living in Chicago I have been immensely privileged to have seen pretty well all the Lyric's productions over those years. And I have additionally been coming regularly to Chicago for nearly 40 years. Nevertheless the pleasure of this really snazzy performance of a warhorse like Barbiere was huge.
I was delighted to find that it was designed by Scott Pask - the gifted young designer who was responsible for the COT Orfeo in 2000 and Così fan tutte in 2002. So that was a great start.
And then the cast - the wonderful Isabel Leonard, COT's Zerlina in 2008, was a delectable Rosina, Alek Schrader, one of those winners in the Met competition in 2007 when I was on the final jury was the Almaviva, and the glorious rich and ripe Alessandro Corbelli, our Dandini at Glyndebourne for the 50th anniversary season in 1984, was the definitive Bartolo of our day. And the Barber himself was the charming bouncy and still youthful Nathan Gunn, a generous friend to us at COT together with his wife Julie.
So I had a significant personal interest in all this - and what a treat it was also to see so many old friends and colleagues at Lyric yesterday evening. I think I am going to have to make my visits to Toronto and Chicago in February an annual event!