Imagine 5,000 people cheering after 3 hours of wonderful Rossini - a full to capacity Royal Albert Hall for the Glyndebourne Prom performance of Il barbiere di Siviglia. It is a most remarkable event for all the artists concerned, and for those taking part for the first time it is mind blowing!
Glyndebourne has produced a Prom performance every year since 1961 - and I was present at each one between 1962 and 1988. But I think that with my sojourns in Toronto, Chicago, and Nice, together with my Neue Stimmmen duties over the years, I have not been to one since that 1988 Falstaff until last night. And the thrill was as great as I remember from all those years ago.
This performance came at the end of a long run of performances of Il barbiere during the Glyndebourne season and opened there on May 22. (Click the link to see my account)
The impeccable precision and polish of the performance was therefore to be expected I suppose - but no less astonishing for that. And the enjoyment of the proceedings by singers and orchestra was infectiously led by Enrique Mazzola - the most genial of Rossinians and clearly adored by all with whom he works. The cast was as at the Festival of course and once again Danielle de Niese, Taylor Stayton, Björn Bürger, Alessandro Corbelli, Christophoros Stamboglis and Janis Kelly delivered the goods to the first attentive, and then cheering thousands.
My Chicago friends will remember that Danni and Taylor appeared very early in their careers at COT...........we were as proud of them then as Glyndebourne is now!