One of the additional joys of Glyndebourne's summer festival is the pleasure of the gardens, which in full Summer bloom are pretty stunning. To find such a rich border as you see above flourishing on October 22 bears witness to the trouble taken and the priority given to this aspect of this remarkable place. These days there is a mini season of three weeks at Glyndebourne itself before the five week national tour.
I was there yesterday afternoon for Madama Butterfly, and will be back tomorrow for Don Giovanni. The alternative venues convenient to me would have been Woking and Milton Keynes - easy to get to but horrible when one arrives! So the trip to Sussex is the best bet.
The Madama Butterfly has not been received as generously as it deserves. There is some splendid singing in fact from the Pinkerton Matteo Lippi, a singer to watch in a world short of even half decent tenors for this repertoire, a richly voiced Butterfly from the Korean Karah Son, and a sympathetic and warm gentle Sharpless from Francesco Verna. The sole British singer among the principals was Claudia Huckle - one of our finest young contraltos. Remarkably John Wilson, conducting his first opera, appeared to have done a fine job in the pit with the excellent Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra responding enthusiastically. So it was a good evening musically and will do well in the five tour cities which also include Canterbury, Plymouth and Norwich.
The issues with the production are documented elsewhere in the press - but nevertheless the piece hits all the emotional spots effectively and the production also presents some inconvenient issues about exploitation of women and cruelty to children which are valid, and not often seen in this "Romantic opera" which tends to get sanitised in the typical production. Its a more than OK approach but some of the detail may be adjusted when it comes to the festival in 2018. That is speculation rather than advice!
I am looking forward to the Royal Academy of Music's Alcina this evening.