This year the festival had a much greater focus on opera repertoire, and I tried to take advantage of this as much as possible. Out of all the shows I went to, seven of them were operas in concert. Of the ten performances I’ve seen, my favourite ones by far were Iphigénie en Tauride by Gluck (Anna Caterina Antonacci and Christopher Maltman were magnificent), Die Frau ohne Schatten by Richard Strauss (the work, the singers, the orchestra, everything was superb) and the The 12 Cellists of The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (12 cellos, what’s not to love about it). These are three nights I’m always going to remember, unique experiences to cherish and relieve again and again with the heart’s eyes.

As an extra bonus, I also got to bring home some musical bookish gems: Music for Life by Fiona Maddocks, Piano Notes – The Hidden World of the Pianist by Charles Rosen, A History of Opera – the last 400 years by Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker, Big Bangs – The Stofy of Five Discoveries that Changed Musical History by Howard Goodall, The Lives & Times of the Great Composers by Michael Steen.

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