On Monday evening I went to La Scala, to see what is the last opera for me before the summer break. It was Verdi’s Masnadieri. The music was instantly attractive although I don’t really like these strings of beautiful arias threaded together. What is worse, it encourages the audience to applaud after every one thus leading to a break -down of any dramatic tension that might have been building up .Some of the scenes were noisy and confused (as they should be) and the choreographed noisy marching, or rather stamping around all over the stage, was strangely fascinating. Some of the tableaux vivants were a little too stagey for my taste too….BUT….I came home and read the programme notes through from beginning to end and found some of the pictures very illuminating, certainly bringing the opera down to a more realistic level. It has also prompted me to make sure Schiller is next on my reading list. So to say I didn’t particularly enjoy it is, in fact ,nonsense!