Last week, a delightful production (Michael Grandage) of Figaro at Glyndebourne reminded me how unsurpassable Mozart is. Nobody reaches his heights and especially when it comes to vocal ensembles. Verdi and Wagner should bow out quietly (not so easy).
During the interval, whilst picnicking, it occurred to me that my first visit to Glyndebourne, also Figaro, took place exactly 50 years ago. In the summer of 1963, I spent a few weeks as a guest of my late father’s best friend, the Holland Festival’s director general, Peter Diamand. At the end of my visit, Peter surprised me, he had arranged for me to go to Glyndebourne for both Figaro and Zauberflöte. In his hands was a telegram from [then not yet Sir] George Christie, Glyndebourne’s chairman, “delighted to have Ranan in my box.”