Sunday, 10 July 2011

Carmen at Rhos-y-Gilwen

We have just returned from the most magical evening.  Her and Him Next Door bought myself and J a night at the opera at Rhosygilwen Mansion for a birthday treat.  We were both opera virgins and not entirely sure what the night might bring.

When we arrived Glen (the owner) invited us out on the lawn for tea.  What a delight.  Even more special was a private guided tour round his new solar park, which had only been turned on the day before.  I love the fact that amongst all this high tech, sheep will be installed to keep the grass down.  There are 12 lines of almost 10,000 solar panels all in a six-acre field, with a gap between each wide enough so that shade does not ever cast its shadow on the line behind.  It should provide enough energy to power 300 homes.  An impressive venture and a sight to behold. 

Solar farm.
After this tour we got ready to watch Carmen. I was (rather surprisingly) completely engrossed.  For me personally Justina Gringyte who played Carmen stood out.  Her voice was spine tingling good.  Although the opera was predominantly in French and Welsh, you didn't have to understand either to grasp the plot because the acting was definitely first class; the facial expressions were a delight to watch.  I have to admit it helped that the little bit of dialog between each aria was in English.  The whole opera was very moving and I sincerely didn't want it to end. 

Half way through we had an interval.  Some people brought a picnic and dined outside in the beautiful gardens.  We were lucky enough to sit down in the conservatory to a three course meal with a never ending supply of alcohol.   We ate with the lighting director amongst others.  He said we'd notice his efforts more in the second half as he wouldn't be working against God and his light show, (it was a beautiful, balmy, sunny evening).

The following morning we had breakfast with Glen's family and friends, I believe we were the only two 'outside' visitors staying overnight due to the opening of the solar park.  The tables were laid out in groups of at least six so we had a very chatty and interesting time meeting even more people.  We were made to feel most welcome and Glen came to sit with us at our table, which made us feel that little bit extra special too. 

The Mansion
The Mansion really is a refuge, so peaceful and the most friendly, relaxed place.  We didn't feel like paying guests at all, just guests.  I would highly recommend a stay at Rhosygilwen if you need a break from life in the fast lane.  We are most certainly planning to return.  There are a lot of music and art delights in their programme to pick from, enough choice to suit all tastes - or try something new.  It's worth it. 

This post is not sponsored, I was just seriously impressed.


the veg artist said...

How wonderful. I went there once, years ago, when the main house was a shell and had no roof after the fire. I had no idea that it had finally been restored. Sounds like a magical evening!

Elle and Belle said...

It sounds wonderful. Thankyou for sharing it with us.

Rob-bear said...

Sounds like a wonderful visit. Not just the opera and the friendliness, but the massive solar panels to investigate.

Preseli Mags said...

It sounds wonderful. Carmen has such beautiful music and I'm so envious you got to hear it in such a lovely setting. Interesting to see those famous solar panels too.

Kath said...

What an amazing experience! It sounds like a wonderful place to visit. Thanks for sharing it.

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