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Ensemble

An Unusual Opera

Rimsky-Korsakov's 'May Night' at Garsington Opera,
reviewed by RODERIC DUNNETT

 

Garsington: summer opera in the manorial garden of one of the most idyllic 1600s houses in Britain. What could be better?

The dovecot at Garsington. Photo © Andrew Lawson
The dovecot at Garsington. Photo © Andrew Lawson

Well, thanks to the British skies, we didn't get the weather. This was the day of the June downpours; the lightning, happily, restrained itself to the early morning. By the evening, all was cool and sultry, but benign. Nor did a 50-minute hold-up on the A46 which tipped me into Garsington at 6.25 -- ten minutes after the 6.15 curtain-up, help.

Picnicing at Garsington. Photo © Norman McBeath
Picnicing at Garsington. Photo © Norman McBeath

But then wonderful, al fresco Garsington doesn't have a curtain. It all happens on Garsington Manor's glorious terrace, where on a good day the acoustic is to die for. (This night, projected by Jamie Vartan's rather domineering, not always appropriate, but reflective submarine set, it was terrific.)

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Copyright © 15 June 2006 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry UK

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Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller