We swing from grey misery to the occasional ray of sunshine. Sunday from the top of the new Tate Modern building was depressing, Monday at Garsington was glorious, in no way reflecting the character of the opera, Idomeneo - and yesterday for a dose of sunny, frothy, hardly very serious Rossini (Italiana in Algeri) the umbrellas were back, and out came the blankets in the draughty pavilion.
Never mind - we perked up when David Parry launched into the overture - but I am bound to say that, after the considerable substance in superb performances of Eugene Onegin and Idomeneo at Garsington this year, Italiana had a mountain to climb. However the audience that came fresh to it revelled in this "trivial comedy for serious people" - Oscar Wide's assessment of his own Importance of being Earnest.
There were some delicious performances. The title role was splendidly sung by the Turkish mezzo Ezgi Kutlu, Mary Bevan was an enchanting Elvira and Katie Bray is a real find as Zulma. Amongst the men the standout was Riccardo Novaro bringing complete authenticity so valuable in these Rossini comedies a great pleasure.
Will Tuckett's colourful production is suitably riotous and all in all it was a happy evening - but if only the sun had shone!
This evening I am at the Royal Opera House for the Welsh National Opera's In Parenthesis.