It was another glorious day in Villeneuve-Loubet yesterday - a perfect opportunity for what for me is a rather long walk. Three years ago I could not walk more than 300 yards without excruciating pain. The surgeons said - give him a new knee! Well I did not have time for that what with Neue Stimmen and all my other fun activities. So I thought I would try something the doctors did not dare to suggest - lose weight! So I did - thirty pounds and not a painkiller has passed my lips for more than a year. And I walked my 8km/5 miles yesterday without a problem!
There is an excellent new park walk from the old village of Villeneuve-Loubet (birthplace of Escoffier) down to the beach which plays host to the hideous blocks of flats you see looking like beached cruise ships as you fly into land at Nice Airport. But the beach itself is lovely, quite quiet yesterday as you can see above. And there are decent cafés and bars to visit for a breather before turning and walking back.
And walking back gives another view inland to the hills and eventual Alps that hover over the Côte d'Azur.
Château de Villeneuve-Loubet from the south
I left for Paris quite early this morning on the ever more efficient and comfortable EasyJet which by virtue of our membership of the EU can fly between French cities, and indeed from France to many other places other than the UK. I arrived at the Bastille in very good time for my auditions at the Bastille Opera Academy (formerly Atelier) which is under the Artistic Direction of Christian Schirm. There are some exciting new singers there - recent graduates are Andreea Soare who snag Fiordiligi at Garsington last year and Oleksiy Palchikov who will be Lensky in Garsington's Eugene Onegin which opens on June 3.
One of the young sopranos seems to be making her Glyndebourne debut in 2017. And very good indeed she is. And they all seem to be going on to good work in other places. I will see them all again tomorrow in their production of Monteverdi's Orfeo.
I will be back in London on Friday late morning for a quick turnaround before leaving for the weekend in Sussex for the opening of the Glyndebourne season.