I’m still out breath. We saw Flight by Jonathan Dove at Opera Holland Park, including a delightful interview with Dove beforehand. This opera is a rare thing, a modern, English, comic opera. We saw it once, more than ten years ago, and it was so funny we bought the libretto. It is set in an airport, with a cast of very real types that you might meet in such a place. Each of these has a story, and, in spite of many laughs and farcical lift/elevator passages, their stories are very touching with an element of tragedy thrown in – the music’s good too! (Screenshot from Opera Holland Park website). For opera two we were guests at Glyndebourne for Donizetti’s Poliuto – so obscure an opera that it is unlisted in our edition of Kobbé. This is about early Christian martyrs (set in Sarajevo in the 1990s (??)), but actually it is a classical tragedy with love, honour and duty fighting it out. The music is stunning and it is clear that Verdi rifled through it at some stage. This is my kind of opera, moving, full of dramatic emotional music, beautifully sung and acted. I loved every minute of this performance and I have never (over many years) heard such wild enthusiasm from a Glyndebourne audience. (Screenshot from Glyndebourne website). Opera three, also at Glydebourne, was all about the event. We were guests of my youngest brother and wife to celebrate, with my oldest brother and wife (middle brother and wife not able to join us), what would have been our father’s 100th birthday. Oh yes, the opera! This was Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Mozart (shame on me) is a bit repetitive and, um, tinkly (?) for me, but this was a very lively and funny performance, beautifully sung, and I loved the sets. (Screenshots from the Glyndebourne website). EDIT I meant to mention that the highlight of the story was that the ‘bad’ guy, the Turkish Pasha, turned into the magnanimous hero at the end. And finally the bonus interview. When we were standing around our picnic table BBC Radio 4 appeared and asked to interview the person who had created the table and the picnic. We happily pushed forward my sister-in-law, Susie, who answered their unexpected questions clearly and coherently. Our menu included lobster tart, lamb cutlets on couscous and peach and raspberry trifle (not to mention olives, salmon sandwiches, cold meats and cheese). We couldn’t wait. A wonderful time was had by all and we raised glasses to our father and mother.