Last night, I listened to the Prelude to Die Meistersinger, relayed from the Proms. And tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of this photograph being taken, before a performance of Der fliegende Holländer at Bayreuth. I am conspicuous (near the top centre of the picture), not so much for my height, as being one of the few men not wearing a dinner jacket.
My friend Clare and I had arrived at Bayreuth via three trains from London. I remember little about the journey save that Clare - about to go up to Oxford to read English - memorised "To his coy mistress" in next to no time. At Victoria Station, it had seemed like a good plan to book my suitcase in separately, but alas luggage didn't change trains with us. Result: I only had the clothes I travelled in. Our kind landlord at Bayreuth lent me a tie and his jacket - not a brilliant fit as can be seen!
Donald McIntyre sang the Dutchman in August Everding's production, conducted by Horst Stein. I recall nothing of the individual performances, but the chorus sounded magnificent.