The Glyndebourne Festival will not go ahead this year, but organisers plan to stream old productions and host a virtual picnic
Organisers have confirmed that the prestigious Glyndebourne Festival will not go ahead this summer. They had previously cancelled all performances up to and including July 14, but the festival was due to continue until August 30.
A virtual festival, Glyndebourne Open House, has been announced in its place, which will begin on May 24. Opera fans will be able to stream a free, full-length past production at 5pm every Sunday. The programme will begin with Michael Grandage’s Le nozze di Figaro, followed by Jonathan Kent’s Don Giovanni and Nicholas Hytner’s Così fan tutte.
Open House will include more initiatives to enable festival-goers to recreate the Glyndebourne experience from their homes. Although there will be no official dress code, viewers are encouraged “to step away from their day-to-day lockdown lives, dig into their wardrobes and dust off their best outfit”. Glyndebourne caterers Restaurant Associates will hold a live “Glyndebourne Open House picnic” cookery demo on May 23.
Stephen Langridge, Glyndebourne’s artistic director, said: “We remain determined to share world-class opera with the public this summer; so, while the pandemic has forced us to abandon our beautiful theatre for now, I am delighted to be able to announce Glyndebourne Open House, beaming great music and theatre direct to people’s homes.
“For Glyndebourne itself, however, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will be devastating. As a privately funded charity that receives no public subsidy for the Festival, we are reliant on Box Office income.
“For our artists and seasonal staff, this means the loss of their livelihoods. Your donations will help us to support them and ensure Glyndebourne’s future for everyone.”
Robin Ticciati, Glyndebourne’s Music Director, added: “While it is heart-breaking not being able to perform live for our audiences this summer, I have such hope for what we will all feel as a community when we emerge from this troubled time.
“The need for live music and opera will surely burn ever brighter.”