Breaking: Glyndebourne to reopen in July. With black tie

Breaking: Glyndebourne to reopen in July. With black tie


norman lebrecht

June 22, 2020

Message just received:

Glyndebourne Festival 2020 was forced to close following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we are delighted to announce that our beautiful gardens will once again be open for live musical performance. 

Inspired by our audiences, who have been petitioning us to find a safe way to put on live music this summer, and driven to use our 85 years of experience to find  a creative, innovative path through the current crisis, Glyndebourne will open from 1 July 2020. Tickets to gain timed access to the gardens will go on sale to the public on Friday 26 June at just £10 per person from Visitors will be invited to bring or to buy a picnic to enjoy at their leisure in a glorious, spacious setting. All events adhere to the latest guidance from Public Health England.

From mid-July, we will be adding outdoor concerts performed by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with socially-distanced seating as well as the opportunity to picnic. During August, concerts will be performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. 

As the season progresses, Glyndebourne will stage an opera in the open air for the first time. Our dress code is, as always, discretionary, but the many social media images of people wearing black tie for our virtual festival, Glyndebourne Open House, suggests that the desire to dress up has not gone away during lockdown.

UPDATE: BBC reports:

Glyndebourne is planning to present live opera outdoors in August, seven weeks on from cancelling its entire summer season. Mesdames de la Halle (1858), Jacques Offenbach’s one-act opera about vegetable sellers in Paris, will be staged with 12 singers but no chorus. Props and costumes will come from past operas, while the number of musicians will be reduced from 40 to 13.

The audience will be limited to 200 people, with tickets costing £100 each.

Audience members will be seated outside in accordance with social distancing guidelines, while performances will be cancelled on the event of bad weather. “Experiencing live music and theatre, together, in an inspiring environment is what Glyndebourne is all about,” said artistic director Stephen Langridge.


  • Ron Swanson says:

    Good they found away to save something of the season.

  • Jack says:

    Is there any summer festival more stuffy than Glyndebourne?

    • V.Lind says:

      Funny definition of stuffy — seeing opera in a beautiful garden while having a picnic. I think dress is delightful, but it is discretionary, and if the heatwave continues may be less formal than usual.

      What’s stuffy is denigrating something that may not be your cup of tea. Some people truly enjoy dressing up to go out, just as they appreciate good manners.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Let them have their ‘stuffiness’ – they aren’t hurting you. Or should they be cancelled and de-platformed because you don’t agree with any of it?

      Glyndebourne attendees are obviously conformists; we could do with a whole lot more of that in this modern world of hideous narcissism.

    • Norbert says:

      Is there anything more risible than an inverted snob?

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    Go for the socially-distanced “champers and hamper” on the lawn. Skip the opera inside.

  • Great to see. HGO – Hampstead Garden Opera planning something similar at Lauderdale House in London with Holst’s “Savitri”