Three festivals give up, Glyndebourne hangs on

Three festivals give up, Glyndebourne hangs on


norman lebrecht

April 24, 2020

Following the Finnish government’s ban on all sports and cultural events with more than 500 spectators until August at the earliest, the Savonlinna festival shifted its entire programme to the summer of 2021. Valery Gergiev’s concert festivals at Mikkeli has been shelved.


Elsewhere, Opernfestspiele Heidenheim, specialising in early Verdi operas, has been called off. Salzburg is looking at ‘alternative strategies’.

Glyndebourne still clings to hope that the second half of its season might be saved.






  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    At the moment all I am hoping is that by mid next year there may be enough normality internationally to visit Europe again. I am not very optimistic. The idea that one may resume concerts and opera again anytime soon is incomprehensible to me. Especially when considering that classical music generally attracts older people these days, who are most at risk.

    • Alexander Hall says:

      Isn’t it odd, Mustafa, that people could actually give what you have posted a thumbs-down? You are merely stating the blindingly obvious, but judging from reactions to Norman’s posting about the BBC Proms, you would think that anybody calling for a reality check is a blaspheming bastard, an horrendous heretic and the wettest of wet blankets.

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    Glyndebourne rather than hanging on to the remote possibility of a truncated season might be better employed reimbursing those ticket holders who can’t afford to donate the cost of their tickets. Not all of us are in the fortunate position of being able to write off the cost of something that has to be saved for.

    • LondonRobert says:

      So, not just cynical but also ignorant and proud to let other people know this.

      Glyndebourne has cancelled all performances up to Tuesday 14 July. They ARE reimbursing the cost of tickets for these performances without question if that is what the ticket holder wants. We have all been sent an email whereby we can click on it and make the request for a full or partial refund.

      I didn’t bother as I have other things to attend to first. So, I was glad when they phoned me to ask me what I wanted to do. There was no mention of making a donation and when I said I would like a refund, this was done there and then. £508 was immediately credited to my card account.

      I don’t know if it will be possible to put on the last part of this year’s season. If they do, they may not keep to the current performance timetable, in which case full refunds will be available.

      I think they are going to make an announcement on 1 June – I hope some performances will be possible and I’ll certainly go.

      • Cynical Bystander says:

        I got the email and clicked to say that I wanted a refund and have heard nothing since other than that there is no one there to process telephone enquiries. I’m glad you got your £508 and maybe my £1016 could be making me a tad cynical, not to say ignorant, particularly when I cannot really ask my 3 companions to cough up for something none of us can attend to cover Glyndebourne’s tardiness.

        • LondonRobert says:

          The amount I have paid for tickets for performances after July 14 amount in total to much more than £1016. If these performances take place, I will have paid for what I wanted. If they don’t, then Glyndebourne will pay all of it back, without question.

          I also got that e-mail and did nothing because had other things to worry about and complain about. Glyndebourne phoned me to ask me what I wanted to do and within minutes, my money for tickets prior to July 14 was credited to my credit card. There was no talk of a donation.

          Glyndebourne is not asking you to cough up anything, despite your warped and wrong view of the facts of this situation. Now, we get fake complaints. What is your next trick?

      • Leon says:

        That’s good to hear. Similar experience with ENO. Getting a refund from the National Theatre is another story.

    • Jamie says:

      Glyndebourne have offered to pay people back; ask and you shall receive. Have your money; resolve your evy or work harder. Glyndebourne is a charity as receives no funding from any government or any other state body. . Jamie

      • VB says:

        Wrong – they receive a considerable grant from Arts Council England that’s about a third of their revenue each year, the rest coming from ticket sales and donations. Yes, it IS a charity in the sense people can donate, but it is NOT a charity in the true sense of the word, i.e. relying solely on handouts and fighting for a good cause. It is a business and reinvests its profits into the business accordingly. While the Arts and opera are important, when it comes to donation most people are clearly going to choose something like cancer research, NCPCC or animal charities over a theatre, that’s just the reality.

        • LondonRobert says:

          Wrong again. More fake news. Glyndebourne Festival Opera receives NO Arts Council funding for the summer festival. It is the Touring Company which receives Arts Council Funding.