WHAT shall I remember about this year's summer festivals in Edinburgh? There is still a full weekend to enjoy of course, so still plenty time for more experiences to fuel the memoirs. But let's take stock.

I have met a lot of American people. Not one of them would confess to voting for Trump. This is perfectly feasible. Many of them are what you might term alt-Americans, proof that the tune-in drop-out, flower-power generation of their parents, selfish baby-boomers who have stolen all the money though they are often cast, have handed down some sort of genetic disposition to seek an individual path, be suspicious of "The Man", and develop a genuine curiosity about the world. They are here in numbers this year because of the continuing collapse of our currency following the Brexit vote, and because they wanted an excuse to escape – even for a short while – from the awfulness of what is happening in their own country. One might guess that supporters of the new president include many of those Americans who never possess a passport because they can see no virtue in straying over the US border, so those who believe that travel broadens the mind and have put their dollar behind that are less likely to have cast their ballot for the Republican candidate. And, indeed, to be interested in the arts.

I have heard a lot of extraordinarily good music, especially opera. After carefully managing expectations by constantly reminding the grumpers that resources were too stretched to sustain the sort of opera programme that distinguished the Festival in earlier years, director Fergus Linehan has provided a corker of a sequence of performances every bit as fine to mark the event's 70th birthday. That many of these have been in the Usher Hall rather than on the Festival Theatre stage has been immaterial, as they have been in no way inferior, and sometimes had obvious advantages over a proscenium arch show. And now the Teatro Regio Torino is in town, with an acclaimed contemporary staging of Puccini's La boheme opening tonight to follow up its timeless new version of Verdi's Macbeth last weekend. There are around 300 members of the Italian company in Edinburgh for its residency, and the singers and musicians even have their own tour t-shirt, with an image of Edinburgh Castle on it, like a travelling rock band – or a posse of students from an English university or an American high school. Is this a last hurrah for the sort of presence made much more unlikely by the anti-EU vote? Many people seem to fear as much.

As well as the gleefully welcomed (and not just by myself and The Herald critical posse) return of our Angel awards – grateful thanks to the Festival Theatre and its wonderful staff for saving the day there – another perennial joy is The Herald Young Critics project with Edinburgh school pupils, the founding spirit of which, Sally Hobson, Head of Creative Learning at the EIF, announced on Wednesday that this has been her last Festival. I trust she will be at the Festival Theatre tomorrow when this newspaper's own two original contributions to the Edinburgh Festivals come together with the presentation of our Wee Cupid award to the best of the young writers.

The first show they attended was a star-studded celebration of Edinburgh's hippy era troubadours The Incredible String Band, and I commend their reviews to you, available on our heraldscotland.com website, for the joy of reading wise youth desperately trying not to be patronising about their elders enjoying themselves. They conclude with this withering, parenthetical assessment of the Playhouse audience from The Royal High School's Gregor Ashworth: "Whilst it seemed as if the crowd at times lacked energy (to be fair the average age was fifty-five) they certainly gave an enigmatic send off to the music that was their track throughout the sixties and seventies."

Aye, happy 70th, Edinburgh Festival and Fringe!