The latest series of BBC MasterChef reaches its semi-final stage with a special event at Glyndebourne to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our award-winning opera house.
The opera house opened on 28 May 1994. The original Glyndebourne theatre, built by John Christie in the 1930s, had reached its limit and a new building was needed to meet audience demand and support ever more technically demanding productions.
The new opera house was designed by Michael and Patty Hopkins of Hopkins and Partners and cost £34 million, all secured through private fundraising. It increased capacity by 50% to 1,200 seats and provided vastly improved backstage facilities. These outcomes ensured that Glyndebourne could continue to deliver the highest artistic standards and live up to John Christie’s ethos of doing ‘not the best we can do but the best that can be done anywhere’.
Over the past twenty five years the new opera house has hosted some of Glyndebourne’s biggest and most ambitious productions to date such as Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Tristan und Isolde and Britten’s Billy Budd.
To help celebrate the anniversary, MasterChef bought its nine semi-finalists to Glyndebourne to create a three-course, fine-dining menu to feed 80 guests including opera singers Emma Bell, Colin Judson, John Graham Hall and Nicholas Folwell and expert technical staff ranging from make-up artists and wig makers, to stage managers and fly crew.
Tune in to MasterChef next Wednesday 20 March at 9pm on BBC One to see how the chefs fared!