Glyndebourne: 80 years of opera excellence

A symbol of excellence famous the world over, Glyndebourne Festival was born in a Tudor country house in the mid-1930s

A symbol of excellence famous the world over, Glyndebourne Festival was born in a Tudor country house in the mid-1930s

Drawing performers and audiences united by their passion for opera, it is a magical event set in an idyllic landscape on the rolling Sussex Downs — an ideal location for the sumptuous picnic that has also made it famous.

This year marked Glyndebourne’s 80th anniversary and the arrival of a new, talented and passionate music director — Robin Ticciati.

Delighting opera lovers with first-rate productions has been the festival’s philosophy since day one. It is a strategy that has lived through three generations of the same family — the Christies — from the founder, John, to his grandson Gus, who now runs the event, which prides itself on its financial independence.

“We want to make the experience as special as we can, both with the environment, the gardens, with what they see on stage, and the restaurant and the food, so our bar is not the best that we can do, but the best that can be done anyway — which is my grandfather’s motto,” said festival Executive Director Gus Christie.

Glyndebourne is not only for middle-aged eccentric Britons. Opera buffs of all generations are entitled to reduced price tickets, or can follow the shows on the internet or on cinema screens.
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