Last Saturday, the Chapple’s and the Hillier’s decided to try out the Opera for size.

With the promise of great weather, a cool box crammed with goodies to eat and plenty of the fizzy stuff, off we went to Newbury Race Course for an evening of open air Opera laid on by Opera Brava and New Greenham Trust.

None of us had ever been to the Opera, so it was going to be something completely new to us, but armed with an open mind, a brief synopsis of what it was all about and a bunch of booze, we were going to make an evening of it whatever happened.

Newbury Opera

We arrived early as we had heard that approx 2000 people would be attending, and when we arrived an hour before the start, most of them already had!

Anyway, we set up the picnic on the steps with a really good view of everything going on, got the fizz flowing and watched more and more people pile in – I really did not expect such a crowd. Then my phone started ringing as I was on call – several bee swarms were invading peoples gardens and one decided to attach itself to the TV aerial in one property. Not much can be done late on so booked them all in for Sunday morning…

Then the show started – the orchestra struck up and I was quite surprised that I knew the piece – I suppose school did do some good for me in Music afterall.

Then the actors kicked off, singing in English luckily so we were able to kind of follow the plot.

At the interval, the other half of the Hillier’s turned up as he had been working. Being a Wedding Photographer, his Saturdays are pretty well taken up, but he did manage to get away early.

I really did enjoy the event and would highly recommend it – especially to Opera virgins.

The show was well presented, the performers were top notch and the orchestra was superb. The only thing that let it down was the sound quality – this is a huge area and to get this right would have been a major achievement, but it was still very good.

After a quick pit-stop in Sainsbury’s to get more booze, we rounded off the evening sitting on the patio at our house with a roaring fire in the fire pit, drinking Brandy and Coke and talking complete rubbish until the wee hours!

So go on, do something different and go to the open air opera next year! See you there!!