The Fairy Queen
It was a huge undertaking for the company, not least because there is no real performing tradition for staging the piece.
The text is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream but the incidental music is often performed without the text. At Glyndebourne we are given the text, the music and wonderful choreography in the masques.
Judging by the response so far - "Imaginations run riot in a glorious musical romp" (The Times) and "Purcell's dream scales breathtakingly erotic heights" (The Guardian) - it promises to be a huge critical success. It was certainly a huge hit with the audience over the weekend.
Jonathan Kent's inventive production and William Christie's authoritative musical direction combine to provide a thrilling evening. There was elegant and touching solo singing featuring (among others) Lucy Crowe, Carolyn Sampson, Andrew Foster-Williams and Ed Lyon and fine orchestral playing by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
This new production will come to the Proms on July 21st and, as ever, it is a real challenge for my Proms colleagues and for the Glyndebourne team to semi-stage the piece - in effect to reduce the stage production - within the space limitations of the Royal Albert Hall and with the time restrictions on rehearsal in the hall.
The annual visit of Glyndebourne to the Proms is always one of the highlights of the season and this year promises to be no exception. You can of course catch it, like all the Proms, live on Radio 3. A real celebration of the extraordinary music of Purcell and a magnificent chance to hear it in its full context.