Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2006-07

A Night at the Opera

If you've read a few of my reports, you know what's coming now. Yes, it was another of those days that started at some point during a flight :-

(Link to flight log in side panel)

For once, Heathrow seemed to function reasonably like the major airport of a great city although, with Terminal 5 now only a year away, it was obvious that very little is being done to maintain the appearance of Terminal 1. Soon enough, I was aboard a Heathrow Express to Paddington, followed by a luggage-friendly bendi-bus to Hyde Park Corner, where my room at the InterContinental was ready for me. This was good, because I now really felt that I could do with a shower.

I eventually set out, first for a bite of lunch, but also on a ticket-hunt. Any sight-seeing along the way would be a bonus in the Spring-like conditions. Although a West End musical might seem the most obvious objective - and indeed there are several that are on my 'to do' list - I'd set my heart on something just a little bit higher up the entertainment food chain. In fact I had identified two candidates : either English National Opera's well-advertised production of The Gondoliers, or an unusual 'in the round' performance of Madam Butterfly at the Royal Albert Hall. I strolled through Green Park, St James's Park and Trafalgar Square to the Coliseum, home of the ENO, and successfully obtained a ticket for the former.

Following a brief return to the hotel (to tidy myself up just a little ) and a Pizza Express dinner (I do like that chain!), I returned to the Coliseum, this time in pouring rain and decidedly cool temperatures. I had a fairly good seat in the Dress Circle and thoroughly enjoyed the performance. I've always had a soft spot for Gilbert & Sullivan, but the trouble with G&S is that we're all so used to seeing it done not particularly well. With ENO on the case, however, the performance was of the highest calibre. Apart from the scenery (and, to a lesser extent, the costumes), the production was completely faithful to the original; no-one saw any need to update, tinker with or modernise the music, lyrics or dialogue. Excellent!

I returned once again to the IC and fell happily asleep.