Opera night 1825-style
HE helicopter service that linked the Isles of Scilly with mainland Cornwall could start up again. Penzance Heliport Ltd, a group of private investors that includes Tresco owner Robert Dorrien-smith, has announced plans to reinstate the connection, which ran between 1963 and 2012, and has been canvassing the public for support. The plan is to operate year-round flights to St Mary’s and Tresco using state-of-the art, 15-seat helicopters. It’s hoped to submit a planning application for a heliport in Jelbert Way, Penzance, later this autumn, with a view to completing the £2 million transport project by early 2018. Although aeroplanes already fly to the Scillies, helicopters guarantee a more reliable link because they can run even when the weather is poor. The company believes helicopters could help lengthen the tourist season, create local jobs and attract more investment, as well as improve access for Scilly residents. Derek Thomas, the local MP, has already endorsed the project. Visit http://penzanceheliport.co.uk Carla Passino
TAGLITTERING musical extravaganza organised in 1825 by the 1st Duke of Wellington at his London W1 home, Apsley House, which he bought with money given in recognition for his victory at Waterloo (COUNTRY LIFE, June 17, 2015), is being reimagined for a concert there on September 28. The Iron Duke was a great musical patron and his star-studded evening focused on Rossini (right), who had arrived in London, to great fanfare, the year before; singers included the tenor Manuel García, the castrato Giovanni Battista Velluti and the Duke’s 17-year-old daughter, who became famous under her married name of Maria Malibran— it was the equivalent of putting Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas and Angela Gheorghiu together. ‘Beyond the Battlefield’ will be presented by Opera Prelude, a charity that supports singers in the early part of their careers. Tickets cost £85 (0370 333 1183).