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Bregenzer Festspiele – Opera on Lake Constance

Every year since 1946, my home town of Bregenz, Austria has hosted a month-long performing arts festival.

The centrepiece of the festival is an opera performance on the Seebühne, a spectacular overwater stage on the shore of Lake Constance.

This year, the stage is set for a performance of Madame Butterfly, a tragic tale of unrequited love and abandonment.

I was recently invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of the lake stage, in readiness for this spectacle.

The stage is beautifully set against a backdrop of Lake Constance and the Austrian hills.

The best view is offered from the indoor VIP area, above the stands.

The tour included the backstage areas and the layout of the stage itself.

This year’s festival takes place from July 20 through to August 20.

There are still tickets available for purchase on the official website of the Bregenzer Festspiele, starting from €30.

British Airways – Another IT SNAFU

Over the last few months and years, it is an understatement to say that British Airways has been subject to the occasional IT failure.

I was recently caught up in such an increasingly common SNAFU, when my BA Executive Club account was inexplicably locked, for no apparent reason.

What followed can only be described as a cascade of incompetence.

Over the course of 9 days, I spent several hours on the phone to BA’s Executive Club line, intermittently being randomly dumped into call queues for reservations or booking amendments.

Eventually I received an e-mail from a gentleman with a tangential connection to the correct department, and a 48-hour exchange began.

Finally, I am finally able to access my BAEC account and move forward with my travel plans.

Overall, this has been a frustrating experience and a disappointment from BA, which has been, without exception, my favourite international carrier over the last few years.

It is not hyperbolic to say that the service I have received from BA during the last few difficult years has been head and shoulders above the global competition.

It is therefore disappointing that they seem unable to resolve such a basic issue in anything resembling an expedient manner.

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