Introduction to Glyndebourne
Discover our complete beginner’s guide to Glyndebourne. You will find information about the varied ways you can experience our operas and what you can expect from a visit here.
It all began with a love story in 1934, when founder John Christie met soprano Audrey Mildmay.
Glyndebourne is now one of the finest and most celebrated opera houses in the world, delivering performances to some 150,000 people across a summer Festival and an autumn Tour, and a year-round programme of Learning & Engagement activity.
Glyndebourne is a charity and the Festival, which receives no public subsidy, enables us to fund our Tour and Learning and Engagement programme. It is our deep commitment to bringing as many people as possible to opera that motivates us and keeps us going.
The Festival is funded entirely through ticket sales and the kind support of our Members and donors. Each year, as Membership places become available, we welcome new Associate Members into our family of supporters.
Each summer, from May to August, we stage the Glyndebourne Festival – our flagship season of world-class opera during which audiences can enjoy opera in our state-of-the-art indoor auditorium. Members enjoy early priority booking for the Festival, and tickets go on sale to the public in March.
The Festival has a tradition of formal dress, and our audience members relish the opportunity to dress up for a day.
A key part of the Glyndebourne Festival experience is our 90-minute interval – a chance to enjoy a picnic in the gardens or dinner at one of our three on-site restaurants. You’re welcome to bring your own picnic, or order one to pick up when you arrive.
In autumn, the auditorium comes to life once more, with three weeks of performances on the main stage.
Our autumn Tour performances have a more casual dress code than the Festival, and a shorter interval. Many visitors choose to dine at one of our restaurants before or after the performance, depending on the start time of the show.
Following the performances at Glyndebourne, we hit the road, taking our productions to Milton Keynes, Canterbury, Norwich and Liverpool. But our relationship with these communities goes deeper; Glyndebourne is resident in each Tour location throughout the year, making opera and music with and for a diverse range of local people. These residencies culminate in a host of activities that take place alongside our mainstage Tour productions, a programme we call Resound.
The Tour prides itself on developing upcoming talent, and many artists who started in the Tour have gone on to international acclaim, including Robin Ticciati, Gerald Finley, Emma Bell, Alfie Boe, Roberto Alagna, Edward Gardner and Kate Royal.
We aim to share the wonder and joy of our operas with as many people as possible. Our streaming service, Glyndebourne Encore gives subscribers the chance to watch extraordinary opera on demand.
Each summer, we present Glyndebourne Open House, free opera streams on YouTube, featuring some of our best loved productions.
Throughout the year…
For more than 30 years, our award-winning Learning & Engagement department has been staging new work and spearheading projects to open all hearts and minds to opera. Recent projects include Resound, Balancing the Score, a new development scheme for female composers, and Pay the Piper, a youth opera featuring 70 young performers from the local area.
Whether you’re searching for a gift for a discerning music lover, treating yourself to a framed print or a child to their first book about opera, our shop offers an impressive selection of products inspired by Glyndebourne. Profits from every purchase directly support our work, so be sure to stop by during your visit or shop online.