No idea, 9.7 units (I went without the post-performance malt whiskies last night). Today we completed our feast of country house operas with a visit to Glyndebourne for Billy Budd
, which proved every bit as fantastic as the reviews had suggested it would be. Set, cast and orchestra all worked in perfect harmony [sic] to convey the atmosphere on board one of HM Ships during the French wars of the 1790s, and I floated (appropriately enough) out of the theatre feeling that I had witnessed such a definitively brilliant performance that I would never be able to risk going to see the piece again for fear of disappointment. I dare say that this will come as something of a relief to Mrs H, since I suspect that she did not share my wild enthusiasm for the show, merely remarking that the story was “very sad”. I refrained from pointing out that our future opera-going would be seriously constrained if we were to restrict ourselves to rollickingly cheery pieces that worked their way to happy-ever-after endings. I just bought her some earrings she fancied in the Glyndebourne shop instead. Perhaps I am finally learning something about relationships and how to do them.
Sadly the old 'back a bit more, love' trick proved completely ineffective
Very large horse's head and Mrs H (Mrs H on right)
Afterwards we returned to our friends’ magnificent flat on the seafront at Brighton. They had gone out for the evening, having declined to join us at Glyndebourne because they are perhaps the only opera-loving gay men in Britain with a deep-rooted aversion to Benjamin Britten. Something to do with over-exposure to one of his less tuneful works during schooldays, apparently. Still at least we had seen them briefly at lunchtime, in the back street boozer they have recently acquired and expensively refurbished as an investment. Sadly they have installed a couple to manage it, so I was deprived of the pleasure of seeing my friend put on a performance behind the bar that could surely have rivalled that of the late Kim de la Taste Tickell. I must make a note to keep in contact in case he ever volunteers to provide holiday relief cover. Like Billy Budd
, it would be well worth making a special trip to see, though it might conceivably manage a slightly happier ending.
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