Thursday, 3 June 2010

Bird brains and bird bands

No, this isn’t a post about Girls Aloud, though some may find their music preferable to opera. I overheard an interview recently on Radio 4, in which someone claimed that many opera goers don’t even like opera – they attend operatic events simply to mingle amongst high brow types and be able to say that they’ve been. Apparently, even so called opera buffs agree that the plots are often ridiculous and unbelievable. This sounds to me much the same attitude as many who attend fashion shows – I reckon most of the audience just want to be seen to be ‘in’ with the fashionable crowd at xyz’s show and be able to boast about it. And, in any case, the designs are often too ‘creative’ to be wearable.

Anyway, I confess, I was at the first night of Garsington Opera yesterday, courtesy of some wonderful and very generous friends. I’ll also openly admit that I’m not the world’s greatest fan of opera, though the magical productions at Garsington might help to change my mind - and Le Nozzi di Figaro was spellbinding. Okay, the plot is seriously bird brained and, on occasion, even Mozart’s music, combined with the voices of some of the world’s finest opera singers haven’t prevented me from nodding off during this opera.

But Garsington’s productions are different – cleverly staged and directed; fun, relaxed and down to earth – and all done in the most highly professional way. I was totally entranced all evening - and not just by the Count, played by rather dishy Grant Doyle (was that a chest wig, or is he really that hairy?) The voices were also divine, especially Sri Lankan soprano, Kishani Jayasinghe, as the Countess.

Added to this was a perfect Summer evening, which was lovely – except that every light aircraft enthusiast in the area decided to take out their private plane for a spin, creating a curious background accompaniment. However, as the sun went down, the birds started to sing. At one point there were pigeons cooing, I wondered if they lived in the dovecot in the gardens. Then, as the sun finally set, there was the most beauiful bird song from all around… it was almost as if the birds were competing with the singers for attention.

By the way, talking of bird bands, we’ve got some rather lovely new hair accessories at ShopCurious. Each of these unique, handmade feather hairbands is adorned with a curiously cute feather bird and embellished with original vintage jewels. Plus, these dramatically different fascinators are simply perfect for outdoor Summer events, like the opera, as well as wedding parties, of course.

It’s rather sad that this is the last year that Garsignton Opera will actually be held in Garsington, as next year it’s moving to an estate called Wormsley. I’m sure it'll be even better, but I guess the ambience won’t be quite the same... unless the birds go along too.

Will you?

PS Mentioning Wormsley made me remember to tell you, worm, that you’re the winner of our previous giveaway. A curiously conventional Reebok gym bag will be winging its way to you shortly. Hope you find a suitably appropriate use for it.


Ivania santos By DIAMOND said...

Great post!!


worm said...


I dont think I've ever won anything before!! Thankyou so much Susan!

I've haven't been to an opera before, although I am going to see Aida at the Bregenz festival this summer, which is meant to be visually incredible - although I'm sure Wormsley would be the ultimate opera location! hehee

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Loving the whimsical headbands Susan!
Lovely weekend to you~

Make Do Style said...

I am one of those people who love opera and fashion shows! It does mean I often get to see bad ones of both but then the good ones are really special.

Also you got a mention in an article I had to write

Susan said...

Thanks Make Do! I've tweeted your article. x