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Glorious Glyndebourne

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The train to Lewis is packed with people in black tie and it is only 2.30pm! The girls are wearing long dresses with linen jackets and their men carry huge wicker picnic baskets.

On arrival we jump on the bus that takes us to Glyndebourne: a stunning country house with an enormous modern Opera house attached to its side. Picnicking on the sun baked red bricked wall, enclosing a ha-ha around the stunning gardens, provides us with the best place to people watch.

Along the lawns, tables are set up with white table cloths, silver candle sticks and glasses glimmering. While in London the parks are burned yellow and brown, here the lawns are still lush and green, dotted with fine sculptures and bordered by magnificent flower beds and a large lake. I have to resist the urge to use the children’s zip wire over the latter.

Lucky for us the evening is beginning to cool from what was one of the hottest days of the year. For we have a real treat in store: the opening night of Don Pasquale written by Donizetti.

This was the first time this has been played at Glyndebourne since the 1938, when Audrey Mildmay, wife of John Christie - Glyndebourne’s founder, sang Norina. Now we hear his grandson’s wife, Danielle de Niese, sing the part. And sing it she did. Using perfect comic timing, she was really wonderful, giving the role her all.

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