Power changes hands at Glyndebourne

March 12, 2018 by norman lebrecht


Glyndebourne’s long-serving director of finance and resources, Sarah Hopwood, has been upgraded to managing director in an internal reshuffle following the mysterious departure of artistic director Sebastian Schwarz.

Gus Christie becomes executive chairman.

Hopwood has been at Gly for more than 15 years.

Among her Facebook friends, there are no artists.

Going up: this is Sarah’s Fb profile pic.

UPDATE: In a message to staff, Gus Christie says: ‘We have decided to appoint Managing Director and Artistic Director, both reporting to myself and the board…. Sarah Hopwood will be appointed Managing Director as of today.

Sarah has been with Glyndebourne for 20 years and has steered us through many challenges. It is largely through her foresight and tenacity that we remain financially independent…’


Comments (11)

  1. Hanna Nahan says:

    Some of us prefer not to mix work and play on Facebook you know, Norman. Her friend list has literally no relevance to her professional capacity…

  2. JB says:

    Glyndebourne had a seriously large artistic hole at it’s heart now. Hopwood cares and knows nothing of opera and knows nothing of how to treat performers and give them the support they need (she disbanded the Stage Door team) and Steven Naylor hasn’t the clout or vision necessary for one of the world’s most important opera houses and Robin Ticciati has his own problems. I hope they can bring in an artistic director to lead the artistic vision, or I severely worry for what Glyndebourne will become. To think what Sir George Christie would think of all this? Glyndebourne was all about utter excellence, and creating the finest opera possible. I don’t see that happening with this team in place. Very sad days indeed.

    1. GT says:

      Strange that someone who ‘doesn’t care’ about opera would choose to have worked at Glyndebourne for over 20 years…
      Someone with an axe to grind here?

    2. GT says:

      I heard that Jeremy Bines was the real problem

  3. Arthur Harveys says:

    What Hopwood does with her Facebook presence is neither here nor there.

    That said, she’s a canny operator. She upgraded herself from Finance Director to Chief Operating Officer when David Pickard left; now Sebastian Schwarz has gone she’s given herself another leg-up. She’s the one who’s been pulling the strings at Glyndebourne for years because she’s in control of the one thing everyone there is petrified over: money. The other Directors impotently go along with her demands for budget cuts year after year, while she gives herself these promotions and pay rises. Clever woman. Poor Glyndebourne.

  4. John Rook says:

    Is the photo part of Glyndebourne’s Putin-type video to promote the future regime?

  5. C Porumbescu says:

    Just because someone works in the arts, why would they necessarily have artists as friends on Facebook? Many people use FB principally to relax and to stay in touch with actual friends. It’s not obligatory to use it for professional purposes. In fact I tend to be slightly suspicious of people who do.

    1. Me! says:

      I think what he means is it’s telling in 15 years there she’s made no artist friends- that said it may well not be her fault often a divide between front and back of house so to speak and of course her fb could be childhood friends and family

      1. SC says:

        I have worked there much as a performer over the last 5 years and she has never come and introduced herself to me. She knows nothing of how to treat performers, and other facets of what she is doing there go against any understanding of what is important for an artistic organisation. Glyndebourne is headed down a very sad track of insignificance if she is in charge.

        1. Saxon Broken says:

          Perhaps her view is that the artistic director should look after the artists…

          1. SC says:

            There is no artistic director. And no, someone in her position should be known to and care about her artists. She doesn’t even know what art is…so good luck Glyndebourne..

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