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Summer arts: Singing in the rain

Imogen Stubbs braves downpours and drag queens at Glyndebourne to see La Bohème

By Imogen Stubbs   July 2012

Puccini’s doomed lovers 

I arrived at Glyndebourne this year just as a clap of thunder shattered the darkness. Rain dropped from the sky and detonated the muddy landscape like tiny cluster bombs. From every direction desperate people were stumbling towards the tents clutching bags, bits of furniture, blankets, and clothing. They took shelter under heavy wet canvas. As they gratefully received food and drink, the sense of relief was overtaken by nervous expectation, even trepidation, as to what lay ahead.

We were all there to attend a revival of David McVicar’s 2000 production of Puccini’s opera La Bohème. The pre-show…

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