The New York Philharmonic parks concerts recently brought free performances of Strauss and Tchaikovsky to New York City, as well as some familiar delights and frustrations to concertgoers. There were massive picnics and loud cellphone talkers, dazzling fireworks and uncouth blanket hogs, erratic weather conditions and cavorting children. Some took to Twitter and the WQXR.org comments to sound off on the experience; one even shot a video of chattering picnickers. A New York Times critic groaned that Smetana's harps were drowned out by audience commotion.
With that in mind, this 1961 news report on the Glyndebourne Festival in Sussex, England presents a rather dramatic contrast. Women arrive in evening gowns and pearls; men don tuxedos as they consume country picnics (with champagne) and play croquet. The oh-so-civilized video is part of the British Pathé newsreel archive, which was recently uploaded to YouTube. This year's Glyndebourne Festival runs through Aug. 24.
Updated 7/20 at 5 pm.