Glyndebourne goes to Liverpool

Glyndebourne goes to Liverpool


norman lebrecht

November 13, 2017

The posh people’s opera festival plans two shows at the Empire Theatre in 2019, the first time it has played on Merseyside for almost half a century.

Until 1972, Gly used to work at developing opera audiences all over the country. Then they got bored with the less fashionable bits.

Good to see they’ve got their mojo back.



  • Halldor says:

    They toured to Stoke on Trent until relatively recently. Much depends on funding agreements (staying off the patch of other touring opera companies – in the case of Liverpool, WNO) but Liverpool is particularly under-served for opera in any case.

    • Una says:

      We went there regularly in my day at Scottish but Liverpool was expensive to stay, and subsistence was the same for staying in the Adelphi as it was for us to stay in London. And then you had the enormous barn of the Empire to cope with and what seemed to be hardly an audience to – unless of course there’s somewhere else they can go opera now?

  • Maria says:

    “Then they got bored with the less fashionable bits.”

    Very nice.

  • Cynical Bystander. says:

    Seems Glyndebourne can do what ENO cannot or will not. Think ENO are more likely to be dismissive of the less fashionable bits, Blackpool (?) just as ROH is entrenched in it’s posh people’s Xanadu. Both ‘National’ companies that those of us beyond their limited horizon pay to pamper could do with getting out more.

    • Maria says:

      The ROH has made two serious attempts to establish a base in Manchester. Local support was not unanimous.

      Don’t want to spoil your inverted snobbery though.

      • Una says:

        From what I remember of that experiment from living in Manchester at the time, ROH and Ballet came to the newly refurbished and extended Palace, only to turn round and say it was cheaper, including all the subsidies from Manchester Council, to bus everyone down to Covent Garden who wanted to see an opera at ROH and give them a ticket than the cost of the whole entourage of ROH coming up. I think this was in 1982?

        • Pedro says:

          Yes. Garcia Navarro, a great conductor from Spain, was at the pit in Otello. Evstastieva was the Desdemona. I don’t remember who was in the rest of he cast.

    • Una says:

      There is Opera North, which was the whole point of when it was ENON – to have opera based in the ‘North, giving jobs to many who studied in the North, aka RNCM and Glasgow, thanks to Lord Harewood at al and a host of people in 1978, and not always opera coming up from London.

    • Una says:

      ENO are going nowhere! Certainly not in the 80s when they had two large opera choruses as well and even went to.the Met with Gloriana. Kent Opera toured the provinces, like Southsea, Canterbury, Taunton, Bath, Tunbridge Wells, Edinburgh Festival, Sadlers Wells, Eastbourne and elsewhere in the days of Roger Norrington, Nick Hytner, Jonathan Miller and Norman Platt. Then lost its grant for good housekeeping and staying within budget. Another company hasnnow managed to register themselves as ‘Kent Opera’ in Maidstone or Rochester, or somewhere like that in Kent but it is not the same company by any means or remotely related to.tge original Kent Opera.

      • John Groves says:

        You are so right, Una! ENO is going nowhere! And Halldor is correct when he says that other companies are funded to tour to Liverpool and Manchester etc. Great news that Glyndebourne is touring to Liverpool – sad to recall the wonderful Kent Opera who were TOO successful/financially prudent for the Arts Council. Then of course there was Phoenix Opera who were also a victim of the Arts Council. And of course there still is the excellent English Touring Opera. Perhaps ENO’s funding should be spread around opera companies willing to tour!!!

  • Robert Roy says:

    I saw them do Marriage of Figaro in Edinburgh maybe 12 years ago. Absolutely outstanding!

  • moonpavilion says:

    Poor Glyndebourne. To take such stick! Posh people, indeed. Some of the greatest evenings (Rodelinda, Giulio Cesare) I’ve had in an opera house have been at Glyndebourne and I’ve sat in (fairly) fancy seats and I’ve stood for £10. I’ve never failed to get a ticket and I’m not a Member. It may be an international house with a helipad but all the locals serving wine and guiding you to your seat treat everyone with great courtesy.

  • Saxon Broken says:

    But Glyndebourne Touring Opera will no longer present opera in Plymouth.