A little bit of England in....... Quebec?!

 It seemed fitting that I should have a day of music on my last day at the Quebec Opera Festival. I had already seen the Changing of the Guard down in the Citadel from the Observatoire. So I went to get a closer look. It takes place at 10am every day during the summer months. It tickles me that something so British should be in a corner of Quebec, of all places.
Mum and dad can be embarrassing sometimes
To hear the sergeant-major shouting orders in French also brought a smile to my face. The Royal 22nd Regiment is the only francophone regiment in the regular Canadian forces. It was  definitely worth experiencing despite being herded like cattle while we waited to see the spectacle. Some last minute opportunities to buy a plastic soldier's helmet or a little guardsman in the store - and then we were off - doing a sloppy tourist march in the heat up to the parade ground.
Where's your razor boy?

I could have done without the blow by blow commentary over the loud speaker by someone who sounded like Arnold Schwartzenegger as the Royal 22nd Regiment marched in.
Regimental goats for sale
But eventually this stopped and we were able to enjoy the spectacle for what it is - a perfectly choreographed performance - much of it in silence. This is what makes it so impressive.
I was quite worried about Batisse though, the regimental goat who had to stand out on the parade ground in the heat. At least he wasn't wearing a busby.

Batisse the regimental mascot
 I did see the goat major (yes really) give him a little head rub and scratch his cheeks when he got off duty however.

Opera in the park
 With the sound of the marching band still rattling in my ears I walked down to Parc St-Roch, one of the latest venues for what appears to be opera on the back of a truck. The Brigade Lyrique did a fine job of entertaining us although it would have been nice if they could have set up in the gardens closer to the gorgeous waterfall.

 Outdoor daytime concerts are all part of the joy of the Quebec Opera Festival which this year features the world premiere of Robert Lepage's unforgettable staging of The Tempest by Brit Thomas Ades as well as the Quebec classic, Nelligan.

 The brave singers on the truck battled against the sounds of a very busy street and brought some joy to lunchtime office workers and those who had made the trip to catch the show.
A watercolour artist captured the show.
The Quebec Opera Festival lasts until August 5 and although it's only in its second year it already deserves a standing ovation. For an opera lover to spend a few days in one of Canada's most beautiful old cities seems to me like the perfect combination.

Quebec Opera Festival - I'll  be back
Bonjour Quebec and Quebec City  have more information on planning a trip to Quebec City.
Read about the New France Festival in Quebec City (this year Aug 1-5).
Opera fans - read about Glimmerglass Festival in New York State and Opera on the Montreal Metro.
Travel fans - read Driving the Alaska Highway in an RV
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