Some weeks ago Mavis asked if she could be part of a community opera. There was no fee, however as with all Mavis’s activities it was blooming miles away. Rehearsals lasted 2 – 3 hours, one evening per week.
Fortunately, as I am keen on writing, this period of uninterrupted time would be a bit of a bonus so permission was granted.
The libretto of this opera, called Road Rage, was written by Sir Richard Stilgo. It is going on at an opera house hitherto unknown to me, Garsington Opera at Wormesley.
Mavis has been rehearsing for several weeks including three full days during the May half term break. As parents of a cast member we were offered complimentary tickets to a dress rehearsal of Mozart’s Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail which we accepted, mainly because we were interested in seeing the venue. As tickets are usually between £120 and £160 it was something of a good deal.
We had such a good time. The opera was wonderful, with sub titles for non German speakers (all of us!). It was funny and beautifully sung, partly in German, partly in English with a smattering of Spanish. The plot is too complicated to explain.
In the auditorium the acoustics seemed faultless to me although I’m no expert. It was a bit chilly because the structure. although covered, was open to the elements in places. The back of the stage opened onto the outside and on a couple of occasions a car was driven onto it.
The setting was spectacular, set in parkland in the Wormsley estate, a home of the Getty family. Modern sculptures adorned the lawns and the view from the reception deck was idyllic. We took wine and nibbles to tide us over the one hour interval but if I were to return I would take a picnic dinner – and a blanket!