Oral Histories

The Glyndebourne Archive, in collaboration with the British Library National Sound Archive, has been developing an oral history of Glyndebourne.

To achieve this, many of the people who have been associated with Glyndebourne over the years have been recorded in interview. Those already interviewed include singers, designers, producers, musicians, and staff, as well as those in other areas who contribute to the enjoyment of an evening at Glyndebourne, i.e.. caterers and gardeners.

The object of the work is to shed new light on the organisation, its structure and administration, the productions presented and personalities involved. Copies of interviews are kept at the National Sound Archive and in Glyndebourne Archive where they are available for educational and research purposes.

Below is a list of the people interviewed for the Glyndebourne Oral History Project.

Glyndebourne Oral History Project – interviewees

Elisabeth Abercrombie – singer 1938 and during the war
John Allen – Director of The Children’s Theatre 1940s
Janet Baker – chorister 1950s, principal 1960s-1980s
Bryan Balkwill – conductor 1950s & 1960s
Lady Barbirolli – orchestra pre-war
Mark Beddy – Finance Director 1988 – 1997
Berit Berling – general assistant early 1950s
Anthony Besch – assistant producer 1950s
Thetis Blacker – chorister 1950s, principal 1970s
Morwenna Brewer – George Christie’s secretary 1985-1990 , Shop and Gallery Manager 1991-1997
Jack Brymer – clarinettist, 1948-63, 1980s
John Bury – designer 1970s & 1980s, new theatre adviser 1987-1994
Moran Caplat – general manager, 1949-81
John Christie – Founder and chairman of Glyndebourne 1934-58
Sir George Christie – chairman 1958 to 2000
Lady Christie – wife of Sir George
Raymond Cohen – leader of the RPO 1960-1963
John Cox – assistant producer 1959-63, producer 1970s & 1980s, director of productions 1971-81
Douglas Craig – assistant to general manager 1950s
Eric Crozier – producer/librettist and Nancy Evans – chorister 1938, principal singer 1946, 1957, 1959-60
Hugues Cuenod – singer 1953-1987
June Dandridge – stage manager 1951-55, stage director 1956-59, production manager 1960-82
Ryland Davies – singer 1960s-1990
Andrew Davis – conductor, musical director of Glyndebourne 1989 – 2000
Brian Dickie – general administrator 1981-1988
Peter Ebert – producer 1950s & 1960s
Geraint Evans – singer 1950-51, 53-61
Leslie Fairweather – John Christie’s architect 1950s
Gillian Fane – director of Glyndebourne Productions Ltd from the 1960s – 1999, long standing friend of Glyndebourne and the Christies
Marguerita Fowler – looked after evacuees at Glyndebourne during WW2, secretary to Glyndebourne Society Ltd, secretary to Mr Edwards and John Christie, involved with Children’s Theatre
Peter Gellhorn – chorus master 1955-60, 1974-75, conductor intermittently between 1956-74

Florence Harvey – wife of former head gardener
Roy Henderson – singer pre-war
Arthur Howell – lighting 1946-1970s
Charmian Hughes – music librarian 1973-1988
Christopher Hughes – Head Gardener 1988 – 2006
Martin Isepp – music staff 1957-77, head of music staff 1978 – 1993
Philip Jones – orchestra late 1950s and 1964
Charlie Knowles – gardener 1949-73
Barbara Lane – chorister 1935-39
Raymond Leppard – music coach 1954-55, conductor 1964-84
Christopher Lloyd – gardens adviser
Felicity Lott – singer 1976-1990s
Janet Moores – secretary 1934-45, secretary to Moran Caplat 1945-59, assistant manager 1960-1970, house manager 1971-78, accommodation manager 1979-1988
Helen O’Neill – employee of Glyndebourne since 1957, started in press and publicity 1969 rising to Head of Press and Publicity and retiring in 1996
Nigel Osborne – composer
Robert Ponsonby – administrator 1951-55
Anita Roberti (Helen Walker) – chorus Macbeth 1939
Elisabeth Söderström – principal singer 1957-80
Ellen Thurman – secretary to Fritz Busch until 1951, administrative staff 1950s
Carl Toms – assistant to Oliver Messel, designer 1950s
Richard Van Allan – singer 1964-1990s
Rosemary Vercoe – wardrobe mistress 1951-56, designer 1950s & 1970s
Ian Wallace – singer 1958-69
Willard White – singer 1978, 1980s
Susan Whitley (nee Kennaway) – member of the Children’s Theatre 1946-1948
Anthony Whitworth-Jones – General Director 1989-1998
Kathleen Wilson (Coates) – chorister 1937-38
Rae Woodland – singer 1960s – 1980