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Singalong Citibank; adventurous Chase; a boating banker. Edited by Steven Irvine.

Citi's night at the opera

Senior Citibankers might be in for something of a shock on May 17. That's the date the new Glyndebourne opera season starts - and the first performance of the new production of Handel's Theodora, sponsored by Citibank.

Citi had enormous success with the last opera it sponsored at Glyndebourne, an exclusive venue in the English countryside near Brighton. Porgy and Bess was conducted by Simon Rattle and had an all-black cast including world-famous bass Willard White. Many regular opera-goers rate it the best they've ever seen.

This season, Citi was given a choice of two new productions. One was a non-starter: Lulu, a fairly hard-going, avant-garde opera by Alban Berg.

So that leaves Theodora. If you haven't heard of it, don't worry: it was last performed in Britain in 1966. In fact, it's not an opera at all, but an oratorio. And the director is Peter Sellars.

Peter Sellars is the enfant terrible of the business. His 1990 Zauberflöte at Glyndebourne was, according to one buff who's been to every season since 1952, "the worst production ever". Set in a Los Angeles of grubby T-shirts, it was seen as a travesty of Glyndebourne's beloved Mozart.


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