Glyndebourne is one of the most important worldwide Opera festivals during the summer. It brings the best of British with a mix of exceptional talent, originality, sophistication and above all sheer enjoyment.
After the fanfare that surrounded Benjamin Britten's 2013 centenary and the accolades David Alden's Peter Grimes generated in its ENO incarnation, transporting this sea-ravaged epic deep into the heartland of Hampshire's countryside for opening night of The Grange seemed a tall order.
Peter Grimes, which opened last Wednesday 29th of January, with just eight performances, explores they way a community reacts to the different, to the others, and it shows that not much has changed over the years.
I'm used to being surrounded by musicians, but it usually involves lots of floppy-haired guitarists and sticky-floored venues (none of which smell so good, pre or post smoking ban). So, Friday night was something out of the ordinary.
As with any bill passing through Parliament, it is the signature of The Queen's hand that formalises a bill, elevating it to becoming law. My twitter feed was bombarded with copious amounts of praise for Her Majesty but, as I have found, The Queen has always been for equal rights for homosexuals.
Aldeburgh is worth they journey. It's rare to be able to experience a place that has such a direct connection with a composer of the stature of Britten - you can feel his presence, see his inspiration, and appreciate the high regard in which he was held by his local community.