THE ROYAL OPERA
M O N D A Y, 1 8 D E C E M B E R
Wore kilt and green jumper. Hair loose because good.
Ma took me to school at 12.30. Rather a waste of time as all we did was move our books from the hut to the Unit. Then I got the bus down to town with Pam and bought mauve ribbon for my hair tonight.
Went up to change about quarter to five. I’m so pleased, Pa adores my dress. When he saw me he said, “I could fall for you in a big way!” Put my hair in bunches – it did look lovely (I wish it would always go right).
Quite a lot of traffic going up, anyway we got to The Royal Opera House in plenty of time. Some people were wearing long dresses (but we looked nicer than most of them). Had smoked salmon sandwiches at the bar. Dutch grandparents arrived unexpectedly early! Our seats were in the Stalls right in the middle (32/- a ticket).
At 7.30 ‘Sylvia’ began. The music was beautiful, I even recognised it. But Nadia Nerina was hopeless, so wooden. You couldn’t even compare her to Margot Fonteyn. Sitting in front of us were two experts. They kept on giving each other smug looks and didn’t clap once, which we thought was a bit much. The scenery was bluey-grey and hazy, and there were some beautiful costumes, especially the peasants’ ones. The second ballet was good but they just wore evening dresses and there was no scenery. It was called ‘Le Valse’. In the interval we went and got drinks. I had ginger ale.
The last ballet was La Bayadère. Nureyev was in it; needless to say, he’s the best male dancer I have ever seen. He arranged the whole ballet: white costumes against a black background and absolutely beautiful. There were three solo girls and they were brilliant too.
It was far more embarrassing after Nureyev though, because Daddy roared bravo! Nureyev didn’t have a very exciting part, but it was fantastic, so simple and beautiful. I shouted hooray tons of times because everybody else was. At the end, they got twenty calls - we were actually clapping as we walked out!!!
We had to walk to the restaurant (called The Garden) and of course it was raining. My hair didn’t get too bad because Grandpa lent me his hat. The restaurant was absolutely gorgeous, cellar-ish and full of atmosphere. Fantastic food - avocado with crab, tarragon chicken, and chocolate and rum mousse. Grandma needless to say did most of the talking.
We all drank to Pa at midnight, when December 19th began!