They say a change is as good as a holiday and this one really is. Ten days in the south of France singing in Giordano's underrated story of love and betrayal set on the steppes of Siberia. 

Singing the title role is the glorious soprano Sonya Yoncheva. I first met Sonya last year at Covent Garden, when I played her mother in the lovely old Royal Opera House production of The Tales of Hoffmann. This time round, I'm her friend/servant/confidante Nikona. Her gorgeous husband Domingo Hindoyan conducts a cast of internationals for Radio France's annual summer shindig.

Apart from great colleagues, great music and great weather, we've also had great food- here we all are having dinner at the beach! (Can't say that happens too often in opera?!) 


With Sonya pre-show



With the "baddie", Italian baritone Gabriele Viviani- 


Most of us head home for some well-earned summer holidays after this. Bon vacances a tous! 



(silly, silly Marin Yonchev!)