Monday, July 27, 2009

Opera in the Park and Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey ruins

Bolton Abbey and the river

Temple Newsam house (view from the back) It's a huge house, set on 1,500 acres SE of Leeds. The house is open to the public for tours, and there's also a "Manor Farm" petting zoo/interpretive centre. Note the lady w/ the white feather boa--some kiosk was selling boas, glow-sticks, bunny ears, etc. Not sure what this had to do with opera, but it was pretty hilarious.

The stage--this was a much bigger event than I'd expected. 50,000 people!

The crowd was mostly older people, and some really went all out with tables, silverware, champagne, candles, etc.

Stepping stones across a calmer bit of the river by Bolton Abbey.

Bolton Abbey ruins


Graveyard at Bolton Abbey--I think some of them are raised up because they were sinking over the years. It was weird, though--made them look like benches instead of graves.

On Saturday, we went to Opera in the Park out at Temple Newsam. It was really fantastic--they had an orchestra, a choir and 2 singers, and I recognized most of the songs they did. They did a couple from La Boheme, the only opera I've ever seen, so that was good. The man did an amazing job of Nessun Dorma for the finale. We didn't go all out w/ the picnic like some people--Richard brought lemon tartlettes, strawberries and cream, cinnamon rolls, etc. and I baked chocolate chip cookies (less than perfect, but edible). The weather was perfect--one of the sunniest evenings we've had in weeks! As we were heading to the parking lot, it started to drizzle a bit, so that was perfect timing.

On Sunday afternoon, we went to Bolton Abbey, about 3 miles past Ilkley. Had tea and cake at the Pavilion, then went on a walk along the river down to the Abbey itself. Just on the opposite side of one of the ruin walls is a church, so when we were in the ruins we heard a hymn being played (slightly eerie, because we didn't know there was a church there). A lovely little old lady chatted with us for a bit and let us peek inside the church--I think she was thrilled to have someone ask questions and chat.
All in all, another lovely weekend--now back to another week of working on the dissertation!

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