Glyndebourne Festival Opera


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Glyndebourne Festival Opera

May-August
Now considered one of the most prestigious opera festivals in the world, the Glyndebourne Festival was founded in 1934 by music lover John Christie and his wife, Audrey Mildmay, who was an opera singer. They built an opera house on the grounds of their Elizabethan estate in Glyndebourne, about 54 miles south of London, and formed an opera company. In the beginning, Christie wanted to stage only Wagnerian operas, but his wife and some of the musicians who helped him put the festival together eventually persuaded him that the emphasis should be on the operas of Mozart. The repertoire expanded even further after Christie's death in 1962, when his son George took over. During the current 11-week season, several full-length operas are presented, at least one of which is by Mozart.
The Glyndebourne Festival has a reputation for spotting and showcasing young talent. It was here that Birgit Nilsson performed in 1951, Joan Sutherland in 1956, and Luciano Pavarotti in 1964. The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been the main ensemble since 1964, and the chorus consists of young British singers who are often selected to sing major roles. The performances start in the late afternoon, and opera-goers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner so they can eat outdoors and enjoy the grounds during the 85-minute intermission.
CONTACTS:
Glyndebourne Productions Ltd.
Glyndebourne
Lewes, East Sussex BN8 5UU United Kingdom
44-12-7381-2321; fax: 44-12-7381-2783
www.glyndebourne.com
SOURCES:
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 92
MusFestEurBrit-1980, p. 54
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