Time for happy memories – back in Verona! This is such a vibrant city, so full of fantastic architecture, happy tourists, delightful coffee and amazing views. The top of my list was of course to see the opera in a fabulous Arena Amphithere, so bought some not-so-cheap tickets and at 21.00 sharp I am sitting there, surrounded by thousands of people and tiny torch lights. Atmospheric, very atmospheric! My favourite opera, Aida starts and I am listening to the divine voice of the Radames: Se quel guerrier io fossi! (slurp….. hrrrr…..) Se il mio sogno si avverasse! (wrrrr…..brrr…. Un esercito di prodi da me guidato (heee….hrrr…) E la vittoria e il plauso di Menfi tutta! (brrr…slurp….) All these wrrr, brr, slurp and other funny noises in between every single line of the Celeste Aida romance, are not imaginary, they actually happen just behind me! There is a great big camera behind my seat, as the spectacle is transmitted by Sky TV. The charming operator (they are all charming, Italians!) shows me an international sign “I can’t do anything about the beast”. I try hard to concentrate on the plot and action, and there is plenty of it, Amneris plots against Aida, the King declares the war, Radames marches into the city, Amonasro forces Aida to betray Radames and hrrr, wrrr, brrr…too much for me!!! I have an attack of giggles. Big no, no in the opera! Thanks God for the break! Not so good for the Arena director, as people sitting near me stage a rebelion, they have enough of these noises as well. Poor director pulls his hair out (well not that many to start with) but as he can see our point, there is an apology. Followed by a nice pair of tickets for the spectacle of our choice. I know, life is hard, we have to go to Verona again! And by the way, Aida and Radames – there is no “happily ever after” for them, Radamès is sealed up in a dark vault to die, Aida follows him and dies in his arms. There is no justice in this world!

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