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Commentary

06 May 2020

Glyndebourne: full closure of the 2020 Festival and the opening of Glyndebourne Open House

Glyndebourne have, with ‘a very heavy heart’, taken the decision to cancel all remaining Festival 2020 performances. It had been hoped that it would to be possible to open on 14 July, but the persistence of the COVID-19 global pandemic has made it impossible to guarantee the safety of Company members and audiences.

A Glyndebourne Emergency COVID-19 Appeal has been launched to help the artists and seasonal staff - two thirds of Glyndebourne’s workforce - who face a devastating loss of income from this closure, and to help ensure Glyndebourne’s in the future. Full details about this appeal and ticket refunds can be found on glyndebourne.com.

Determined to share music this summer, Glyndebourne has announced that their first ever virtual festival, Glyndebourne Open House, will open on Sunday 24 May.  This will bring the Glyndebourne Festival experience direct to people’s homes by streaming a full-length opera, for free, on Glyndebourne’s YouTube channel at 5pm every Sunday, and helping the public to recreate an afternoon at the Festival in their own homes.

Glyndebourne Open House will commence with Michael Grandage’s much-loved production of The Marriage of Figaro.  The second two weeks will see Glyndebourne team up with Classic FM, the UK’s most popular classical music station, which will stream Nicholas Hytner’s Cosi fan tutte and our acclaimed Don Giovanni, directed by Jonathan Kent, from their Facebook page alongside our YouTube broadcasts.  In keeping with the Festival experience, Glyndebourne’s caterers Restaurant Associates will be holding a live “Glyndebourne Open House picnic” cookery demo on Saturday 23 May and although there is no 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, to recreate the Glyndebourne Festival for themselves at home.

Stephen Langridge, Glyndebourne’s Artistic Director, says: “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, says: “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.”

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