Opera and Aiglon have associations going way back. Delaware housemaster and history teacher Robert “Bertie” Boas used to write program(me) notes for notable classical recordings and take students to Milan and Turin to see operas. Then there was Dame Joan Sutherland’s brilliant gala benefit recital in 1971, while her son, Adam Bonynge, was at the school. Students and parents of that era also may remember the time Dame Joan was in a “singing duel” with an unwitting parent at an end-of-term service. No windows rattled, but heads did turn when a mother seated next to La Stupenda—but with no idea who she was—tried (embarrassingly) to go toe-to-toe with her during the singing of a hymn. Mrs. Bonynge drew herself up, took a deep breath, and settled the matter, much to everyone’s relief.
And so this wonderful Bavarian getaway package is right on brand. Elisabeth has donated two premium tickets to see one of Wagner’s epic masterpieces at this summer’s Munich Opera Festival, on July 31 (a Wednesday). The marathon performance starts at 4:00 p.m. and lasts almost six hours (high-brow binge watching). There are three intermissions. The venue is the magnificent neo-classical National Theater, boasting the third-largest stage in the world, after Paris’s Opéra Bastille and Warsaw’s Grand Theater. In fact, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg premiered there, in the original auditorium, in 1868. The seats are in a tenth-row stall, at the right end of the row, making for an easy exit should the need arise. During the intermissions, you’ll have to “do the done thing” and step out onto the beautiful “Opernplatz” with your flute of champagne and canapés (which you might want to pre-order at the bar downstairs to avoid an intermission crush).