- I wanted to be again in Belfast
- I wanted to see the tall ships (well…I thought they were the old ships but who cares!)
- I wanted to go to the Giants Causeway,
- I was looking for a road trip in one of my favourite regions
- I WANTED TO GO BACK TO GLYNDEBOURNE.
I owe my first visit to Glyndebourne to a dear friend of mine, Alexandra, who, after having taken me to the Henley Races, decided that I was ready for the next stage into britishness..its Mecca really, the Glyndebourne Castle and Opera house, where you can see delightfully dressed elderly ladies and gentlemen carrying hamper baskets, bottles and the whole picnic attire in the middle of some of what English Gardeners have created in the purest “Jardins Anglais” tradition.
After a marvelous Orlando last year, I was very much looking forward to the quite acclaimed Poliuto. This opera is apparently very seldom played (because of the difficulty of the singing parts, especially the Tenor and Soprano) so I felt terribly lucky to be able to enjoy an absolutely breathtaking performance!
After my fourth ferry and arriving quite late at Lewes, I was able to relax in this adorable city full of antiques shops and I even found a marvelous hairdresser ready to pull my hair up in a Glyndbourne Chignon while giving me news of the whole Christie family (for more about its history, click here). Once this was performed and I was finally dressed for the purpose (“out of respect for the performers”), I was able to enjoy a wonderful tea in the garden, wander around and take pictures of the picnickers (I was among them last year with my friend Isabelle but this year, I decided to try the indoor dinner). This is how I met a charming couple from Wales who strictly forbid me to touch my iPhone and made conversation with me for the whole dinner until we parted and that lady told me we had been “two ships passing in the night” a splendid expression I have adopted since. So to all the ships I’ve been passing in the night, thank you for the delightful conversation and human quality of warmth and friendly sharing!
Poliuto is the story of a convert to Christianity whose wife Paolina had a previous fiancé whom she thought dead and eventually appears as the head of the anti-converts militia. She is thus torn between her former lover and her fidelity to her husband and as I hadn’t read neither Polyeucte (Pierre Corneille) nor the synopsis of the opera (but did listen to its podcast…at least part of it), I really wondered who she was going to choose…
The American tenor Michael Fabiano and the Puerto Rican soprano Ana María Martínez form a magnificent duo for an opera with Superb arias. I enjoyed myself through and through.
The next day was more difficult as the M27 I badly needed to make it on time to my ferry was closed…which meant 12 hours delay in my final fifth ferry! Mais c’est une autre histoire…!