It has been a month of bliss, away from the blog as should be the case from time to time, especially during the summer holidays. These included a week in France and a week in Portugal with not a stage or a singer within sight or earshot. So I missed out on Aix and Salzburg - not to mention myriad other possibilities. One can not do everything........
Virginie Verrez (Erika) and Rosalind Plowright (the Old Baroness) in Glyndebourne's Vanessa
But I am back with lots of good stuff in the coming weeks, starting yesterday evening with Vanessa at Glyndebourne, the last performance of their 2018 season.
Whilst the choice of Vanessa for Glyndebourne might be questionable there is no doubt that they have had a success on their hands with an outstanding production, the long delayed debut of Keith Warner who came up with the goods big time! I have huge affection and respect for this man who was with us in Toronto all those years ago (1990?). He is a heavyweight serious director in a world of lightweights. Sorry if I offend! I do hope that he returns to Glyndebourne - this was auspicious. And his partnership with Jakub Hrůša ensured a unified sense of purpose which is unusual enough to draw attention to.
There was a fine cast - with Emma Bell in the title role, and the immensely gifted Virginie Verrez as Erika - she was persuasive enough to make one think that Erika should have been the name of the opera! And how wonderful to see Rosalind Plowright, after a long distinguished career, returning to the place where she started off in the 1970s in the chorus - she was a soprano then, a fine Mozartian as well the understudy Agathe on the tour's Freischütz in 1975 - I recall she sang at least one performance in this capacity! Donnie Ray Albert, again after a fine career largely in the USA, was another "senior" - he inhabited the role of the Doctor with complete conviction.
So this was a nice return to the world of opera! I am off to Lisbon later in the week for Operalia. I hoping that there will be good things to report!