Opera at Teatro La Fenice & Teatro Malibran

G & M, Edinburgh

Dear Mr Blair,

Many thanks for your letter of 30th April.  We did indeed have a wonderful time in Venice, and I am glad to be able to give you positive feedback.

The journeys in each direction by EasyJet were comfortable and on time - indeed the return journey arrived about 20 minutes early.  The speedy-boarding facility was helpful; our seats in Row 2 were well situated; the flight staff were efficient and pleasant and (against all expectation) the available onboard meals were tasty and good value!

The transport from airport to hotel was efficient, and the drivers helpful and pleasant.  The transfer from taxi to boat was excellent.  On the return journey the water-taxi had to berth a short distance from the hotel because of the low tide, but the hotel porter made sure that all was well for us.

The hotel was excellently situated, particularly for La Fenice, just two minutes walk away.  We quickly realised that we would reach just about any point in central Venice by walking.  We easily found the route to the Teatro Malibran where the second opera was performed. 

The hotel was very comfortable, and the staff at all levels were pleasant and helpful;  the breakfasts, included in our package, were excellent;  the hotel restaurant and bar had a good atmosphere, and the whole area was replete with reasonably priced (having regard to the devalued pound sterling) cafés and restaurants. 

Our only qualification is that our room was not as warm as we would have liked, the reason being (I understand) because the heating part of the air conditioning had been shut off for the season while the weather itself was unseasonably cool.  We were in fact provided with an extra blanket which kept us cosy at night.  In compensation (as it were) our room was on the third floor with excellent views across the city including the campanile in St Mark’s Square.  We would not wish to fault the hotel for the idiosyncrasies of the weather;  and I would add that the public areas were well heated.

The performance of Lucia di Lammermoor was quite outstanding.  The whole cast and chorus was of high quality, the production and orchestra excellent, but it was the singing and performance of Nadine Sierra as Lucia that certainly exceeded our highest expectations (to use your words). 

The Teatro Malibran, for Giulietta e Romeo on the Saturday, has a pleasurable atmosphere although less splendid than La Fenice.  The opera itself, when not spreading out into the auditorium, was performed on a small projecting stage with minimal sets, while the orchestra performed in the commodious regions beyond the proscenium arch.  This worked very well.  The cast was youthful and the whole production was thoroughly enjoyable.  The walk from and to the hotel through the maze of still-bustling streets of Venice complemented an excellent and enjoyable performance of an opera which has considerable merit.

The weather was, for us Scots, very pleasant.  There were sunny periods, though mostly cloudy and dry, apart from just one memorable shower of rain.

I hope this feedback is helpful and reassuring.  We look forward to the contrast of Regent cruise and Barcelona, which is now just over a month away!

With many thanks and best wishes,