Just in: Glyndebourne is off

Just in: Glyndebourne is off


norman lebrecht

May 05, 2020

Glyndebourne opera festival has bowed to the inevitable.

With a very heavy heart, we have taken the decision to cancel all remaining Festival 2020 performances. It was our hope to open on 14 July, but the persistence of the COVID-19 global pandemic has made it impossible for us to guarantee the safety of Company members and audiences. We have launched the Glyndebourne Emergency COVID-19 Appeal to help our artists and seasonal staff – two thirds of our workforce – who face a devastating loss of income from this closure, and to help ensure Glyndebourne’s continuity so we can be here for everyone in the future. Full details about this appeal and ticket refunds can be found on glyndebourne.com

We are determined that Glyndebourne will share music this summer, however, and so we are delighted to announce that our first ever virtual festival, Glyndebourne Open House, will open on Sunday 24 May. We will be bringing 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.



  • bored muso says:

    Sad, but inevitable, and full marks for their determination to try to rescue half the season….
    Lets hope the BBC Proms reconsider now their crazy idea to try to play half a season as well…..

    • Maria says:

      Except the funding of the BBC Proms is supported by the compulsory licence fee in Britain so very different. Let them be creative and see if they can redeem some of the work in a huge hall that is equally capable of social distancing and a reduced audience from the normal 5,500 but the facility of it being public broadcaster for the whole population. Glyndebourne has always been for the connoisseurs, the rich, and those who like to be seen. I heard this being discussed on Sky News yesterday and the BBC, without taking risks other than financial. They can always try. If they don’t succeed, then fine but lijeveverything in life, they tried and have it their best shot.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Personally, I think it is the people who are determined that the BBC fully cancel the Proms who are crazy.

      The BBC has already paid for the hall, and the BBC orchestras have also already been paid for. So there is no real reason why a decision has to be made until July. By then I would be surprised if they are still unable to perform a concert for the radio, even it they may not allow an audience into the hall (or only a rather small one).

  • Is that a lamb Mortimer? says:

    No Pimm’s this year?

    How Tragic!!!

  • Anon says:

    Any hope for the Tour going ahead?

    • Joe says:

      It doesn’t appear to have been cancelled as of now. Indeed, it still features prominently on the Glyndebourne homepage. Given how things are progressing, though, I imagine that there will be some cancellations at least at the beginning of the 2020/21 performing arts season, and the Tour may unfortunately end up becoming a casualty. When all is said and done, though, only time will tell.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      The decision doesn’t need to be made until much closer the date. There is a good chance that concerts will begin again in the Autumn, but that depends on how the situation develops over the next few months.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Very sad but entirely understandable.

    Quite striking that SD found a picture of me and Sally when we did Glyndebourne a couple of years ago, just after a heated discussion. She was in a foul mood and made many mistakes in her letters the following week, due to her frustrations about the production.