FHB Highlight: «Ópera & Ballet in UK»
ELENA DÍAZ-GÁLVEZ PÉREZ DEL PUERTO
Mª TERESA VIDAL VIDAL
For a purely British opera experience, nothing beats a visit to Glyndebourne, a country house in East Sussex which since 1934 has been home to the Glyndebourne Opera Festival founded by John Christie and his wife, the soprano Audrey Mildmay. In an initial renovation of the house after receiving it as an inheritance from his grandfather, John Christie built an organ room, followed by a theatre, seating 300 spectators and a forum for a symphony orchestra. The Festival began by performing almost exclusively operatic works by Mozart, before gradually expanding to include works by other composers such as Benjamin Britten, with whom Glyndebourne has had a long association, as well as Giuseppe Verdi, Gioachino Rossini and many others.
Over the years the theatre was extended and upgraded several times due to the increased demand for opera in Glyndebourne. In 1977, the capacity was increased to 850 and in 1994 a new 1,200-seat auditorium was built and opened with Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, a fitting tribute to the Festival’s origins. In 1968 the Glyndebourne Tour was founded, and each autumn it allows the company to take its productions to different parts of the country and make opera more accessible to audiences in the UK.
During the Glyndebourne Festival, staged each summer between May and August, audiences can enjoy world-class opera in a modern indoor auditorium while having the opportunity to dress up for the occasion as the Festival has a tradition of formal dress. Adding to the experience there is the 90-minute interval, an opportunity to enjoy a picnic in the gardens or dinner in one of the three on-site restaurants.
Picnic in Glyndebourne Gardens ➡️ www.glyndebourne.com/your-visit/picnicking-and-dining/
Other summer opera festivals in the English countryside
➡️ garsingtonopera.org Buckinghamshire
➡️ grangeparkopera.co.uk Surrey
References Sources ofh this FHB Highlight: