OPERA: Smiles of A Summer Night

A handsome new theater opens at Glyndebourne, the musically superb, socially colorful festival set in the English countryside

The story goes that two chorus members of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera were returning to the green but sodden meadows of Sussex, England, after a brief break in London. One said, "I'm so sick of all this rain." Replied the other: "Yes, but it is privileged rain."

That exchange about expresses the aura that surrounds Glyndebourne, one of the world's finest music festivals. The very drizzle is sacred. Young singers vie for a place in the chorus. Never mind that the time commitment is extravagant and the pay meager. To perform on this stage is to be recognized as an artist,...

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