Virus latest: Glyndebourne is reviewing its situation

Virus latest: Glyndebourne is reviewing its situation


norman lebrecht

March 17, 2020

The long-established summer opera festival is considering its options. In a statement tonight Glyndebourne said:

Based on the Government’s strong advice yesterday to avoid public gatherings in spaces such as theatres, we are reviewing the schedule for our Festival 2020 programme. This is an evolving situation and we thank you for your patience as we work through the appropriate response.

We will be in a position to share more detail by 20 March 2020.

That’s about all anyone can say at this point.

Earlier today, Grange Park cancelled its summer.


  • V.Lind says:

    They’re going to know more in three days? I’d like to know their secret.

  • Leporello says:

    Bayreuth next? Germany is in lockdown, audience size is strictly limited, case numbers are high and growing, international travel is a nightmare and the Festival Orchestra is made up of musicians from all over Europe. No way.

  • Stuart says:

    We all know it’s not going to happen. The question is why the second delay in announcing it? It’s clear between the lines that Glyndebourne, like many others, is bankrupt without a rescue package – and as a non-state aided organisation they are in strange place. I’m guessing they are phoning around their more richly endowed supporters for massive support. Going to the Arts Council would look bad as giving to the stereotypical white middle class institution would cut across the message they need to get out.

    Let’s hope they succeed. And how may ticket holders will cede a refund with maybe a package of free online videos from their archive (a la old Vic).

    • Stuart says:

      Well I was wrong. Glyndebourne are still of the view that it might be possible to recommence performances from July 14th. Rehersals, stage building etc would have to start some weeks earlier. The peak is predicted in the period late May/June. It doesn’t disappear overnight. Do the math.

      I think they should carefully read and understand Prof Neil Feguson’s gamechanger paper which clearly sets out the path the government has to take in a somewhat clearer and starker way than the PM has yet to present. They should take particular account of what the shaded areas mean for anybody trying to organise mass gatherings. Particularly when around half their audience may be in the vulnerable category:

      • Saxon Broken says:

        China managed to clear COVID-19 in three months. The truth is, at the moment, we really don’t know what the situation in July will be like. Maybe the Imperial paper will be what happens (they certainly aren’t idiots), or maybe the situation will be much better by then (or, lets hope not, worse).

        I would suggest it is a little early to cancel events in July but they should be prepared that it may well happen.

        • Stuart says:

          No China did not clear Covid-19 in three months or even four.. It suppressed it using techniques we aren’t even contemplating.

          They now have the problem of keeping it suppressed. If you can find any highly social Opera Festivals in Wuhan/Hubei province programmed there this year I will be impressed (and yes, the Chinese do love Opera probably more than us).

          I’m afraid its denial, not the virus, that may be the most dangerous for the lives of so many people. It’ll all be over by summer is just that.

          I heard yesterday of our first family member to die of Covid-19. It was horrible – and avoidable. It’s time to get real.

          Would you plan on going to an Opera in Verona in July – or just to enjoy the city? After all they are ahead of us – so shouid be clear even earlier …