So it’s Royal Circle seats at the Glyndebourne performance of Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon (Cinderella). The French composer’s comic opera celebrating the power of fantasy is a blend of colourful characters, generous melodies and sumptuous orchestral textures in bewitchingly heady arrangements. Director Fiona Shaw adds contemporary twists – and laughs. Poor Cinderella really is in for a rocky ride with her selfie loving halfsisters, bottom enhanced stepmother and gender fluid prince! It’s kooky, frothy, rococo and full of familial folly all at once. And a lot more entertaining than the Kardashians. Who said the countryside is boring? Next stop The Summer House. Sometimes one season is better than Four Seasons.
“There are two types of folly. One… is spread through the world by the cruel furies who sow serpents in the hearts of men. But there is another type, very different from the first, which brings delight. It is a certain fond delusion that takes over the soul, makes it forget all the troubles, all the worries, all the disappointments of life and plunges it into a torrent of pleasure.” Desiderius Erasmus, Praise of Folly, 1509
“England – southern England, probably the sleekest landscape in the world.” George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia, 1938
“The folly, particularly in Britain, is an attitude, a statement, a style, a fashion, a passion, a different world.” Gwyn Headley + Wim Meulenkamp, Follies, Grottoes + Garden Buildings, 1999