17 August 2011

Rinaldo at Glyndebourne

I've been taking Dad to Glyndebourne as his birthday treat for some years, having long ago run out of things to buy him, and this year he chose to see Rinaldo and we managed to time it for his 80th birthday.

The weather was good so we arrived promptly, almost spot-on the official opening time of 3pm, which meant that we were able to grab one of the picnic tables next to the opera house. The garden is nicer but further to walk.

The pre-opera period past more than pleasantly enough with refreshing afternoon tea, a short walk through the warm garden and a traditional mug of Pimms.

All to easily 3pm became 5pm and it was time to take our seats in the centre of the front row of the Circle. Excellent seats.

Rinaldo is a knight in the Crusades who fights against the Saracens and for his love, Almirena.

This production brings the story to modern times cleverly. A school boy learning about the Crusades falls asleep in class and his dream mix the history with the present. The story is the same but the settings and dress are from his school.

Here we see the good nights coming to the rescue in the school hall dressed as girls ready for hockey.

The baddies, Armida and her gang, are also dressed as school girls but they take on the more provocative style of the Sixth Form at St Trinians.

Bringing the Crusades to school works well as an artistic and storytelling device but it does mean that the bad girl is far sexier than the good girl.

Despite the temptation to cheer for the wrong side, the story moves along briskly and the sur titles are kept busy. This is not an opera where a one simple line is repeated several times. And that's good.

As always the success or otherwise of the opera comes down to the singing and this was exceptional. There are several main roles and a chorus all of which were excellent.

The day was perfect in every respect, not least because Dad loved it so much. Here's hoping somebody does that for me if I reach 80. Hint. Hint.

1 comment:

  1. I've just seen it, albeit on TV (BBC 4) - which experience prompts me to ask if you got your Dad's blood pressure checked afterwards?


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