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Savonlinna Opera Festival (I): World Premiere of Aulis Sallinen’s Castle in the Water

For my first trip to Finland, I flew from Helsinki to the east, close to the border of Russia near St. Petersburg over many of Suomi’s thousand lakes, where the summer getaway Savonlinna lays. Right after the solstice during July and early August, the town’s opera festival offers high quality productions. In this enchanting locale in the midst of peaceful nature, the sky at dusk after the mesmerising sunset fades away is worth the trip alone!

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16 Aug 2005

Handel's Giulio Cesare at Glyndebourne

Cleopatre seduit Cesar et le public

Glyndebourne : Jean-Louis Validire [Le Figaro, 16 August 2005]

Se rendre a Glyndebourne, c'est aller a la recherche du temps perdu, quitter Londres sous la menace terroriste pour rejoindre un havre de paix, une reserve d'Indiens ou tout ne serait que luxe, calme et volupte. Dans un rite immuable, les spectateurs attendent dans le parc, les femmes en robes longues, les hommes en smoking. Le seul bruit est celui des bouchons de champagne qu'il est de bon ton de deguster en couple ou entre amis avant d'entrer dans la salle en bois de l'opera, a la remarquable acoustique.

[Translation: To return to Glyndebourne, one looks for times past, to leave London under the threat of terrorism, to join a haven, an Indian reserve where all would be only luxury, quiet and pleasure. In an unchangeable ritual, the spectators wait in the park, the women in long dresses, the men in tuxes. The only noise is the welcome sound of champagne corks, as couples and friends imbibe before entering into the auditorium with remarkable acoustics.]

Click here for audio samples.

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