I managed to get wet a few times today. The weather was pretty awful most of the day (though I did manage a walk with the girls during a brief pause in the wet) but just managed to get worse when I was outside.
This wasn’t too bad when I was planting up the lavender bed. In fact, the steadily increasing rain helped with keeping everything nice and moist. And the smell was lovely. Mind you, the girls were far more interested in the box of bone meal I was using to fertilise the soil.
Speaking of the spreading of stuff and mud…I noticed up the park that another load of wood chippings has been collected for eventual dispersal over the path between the trees. This was so effective last year that I guess they’ve decided to do it again.
Possibly the worst drenching of my day came when I left the house for the trip to Woking. Given the weather I decided to catch a bus to the station. According to my app, there was one in ten minutes so I left the house. The rain wasn’t too bad and I reached the bus stop with a couple of minutes too spare.
Unfortunately, somewhere in between ten minutes away and the due time, the bus ran into some sort of hold up. Doubly unfortunately, that’s when the weather decided to turn nasty. Well, nasty is a bit of an exaggeration. The rain just became heavier. So heavy that when the bus did finally turn up, my head was soaked and the end of my raincoat was dripping on the bits below my waist.
The weather also made me despair about getting to the station on time for the train. There was the weather, the traffic, a stalled car blocking a lane and a wheelchair to negotiate before the bus dropped me at the station with five minutes to spare.
Sighing with relief, I bought my ticket and boarded the train for the short trip to Woking.
Way back in June, I spotted an ad for the Glyndebourne touring season for 2017. Every year they visit Woking as part of the tour and I have often gone in the past. It’s always at this time of the year so it’s generally a bit of a birthday treat. When I spotted the ad back in June I knew this was going to be the best birthday treat ever!
Back even further than last June, when I was an actor, I played Roy in a play by Louis Nowra called Cosi. Roy was a manic-depressive who loved Mozart’s opera Cosi fan tutte so much that he described it as being “…the music of the spheres…” which the ancients believed was a sound made by vibrating planets in the cosmos. I came to love the opera through this.
The music is light and trill-y, Lorenzo da Ponte’s lyrics light and funny, the whole thing is a delight, and this was the first time I have ever actually seen it. And what a great birthday present to myself it was.
The cast was brilliant – Bogdan Volkov as Ferrando, Ilya Kutyukhin as Guglielmo, Jose Fardilha as a delightfully mischievous Don Alfonso, Kirsten MacKinnon as a beautifully sung Fiordiligi, Rachel Kelly as her sister Dorabella and the brilliant Ana Quintans as a superb Despina.
Here’s the latter singing Despina in a concert:
Not just her singing but her comedy was also perfect. Her ‘doctor’ was hilarious. It even woke up the old woman in front of me who had started snoring just before Ana’s, medical, entrance.
Speaking of the audience, the theatre was almost full. I was amazed. And if the general hubbub afterwards is anything to go by, they all loved it.
Okay, the whole thing might be light and silly (although written in 1789, it didn’t get performed in London until 1968) but it is a delight. Nothing too serious or tragic (no-one dies) and some of the most beautiful duets.
Now, as regular readers will know, my general opera knowledge is pretty small but I know what I like and I LOVED this. I defy anyone not to love it…well, apart from my mother and Bob, I guess.
Afterwards I headed out back to the station and, of course, it was raining. Once more wet I stood on the old familiar platform 5 in time for the ridiculous announcement that the 11pm Alton train had been cancelled because of the unavailability of a member of the train crew. This meant an extra half an hour waiting in the chill and damp of Woking station.
In one of those strange moments of unexpected and uneven synchronicity, having been delightfully entertained with such glorious singing, everyone at Woking station was serenaded by this group of kids who seemed to be under an illusion that they could sing as well.