Great Glyndebourne moments
We explore some of our favourite moments on the Glyndebourne stage.
Here are some of our favourite arias from these productions – along with personal anecdotes from those who worked on them.
We’d love to hear about your favourite moments at Glyndebourne. Scroll down to submit your memories – we’ll share a selection of these in the next few weeks.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Ian Jackson – Head of Planning and Company Management: ‘Our wonderful and memorable production of Meistersinger certainly presented logistical challenges given the sheer scale of it. With 145 performers on stage plus an orchestra of 80, suddenly the backstage areas of Glyndebourne did not feel so big! Turning our Green Room into a dressing room, and our main meeting room at Glyndebourne into a Green Room was one example of the creative thinking required to facilitate the company of this size. The demands on things like company transport and catering were naturally heightened and everyone at Glyndebourne rose to the challenge. It was a lot of people to manage and to ensure everybody was in the right place at the right time, but a very rewarding experience for all. One thing is for sure, there’s a reason we haven’t taken Meistersinger out on tour!’
Marco Jentzsch and the cast perform ‘Morgendlich leuchtend in rosigem Schein’ from David McVicar’s acclaimed production of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
Danielle de Niese, who played Cleopatra: ‘I have so many wonderful memories of Giulio Cesare which launched my career to new heights! The buzz was extremely special— I remember almost feeling it in the air – everyone was talking about this new show that was going to use choreography like never before and knock everyone’s socks off! [Director] David McVicar had planned for Cleopatra’s first and last arias to be choreographed, and that everything else that would be the result of all of us being in the room together. It was just the most vivid electric atmosphere and everyone in the company could feel it. I remember one rehearsal where unfortunately the Achilla couldn’t attend – I was sitting on the sidelines with Christophe Dumaux (Tolomeo) — David said ‘Right we don’t have Achilla, so we are going to change plans and make up something for the next scene with you two’ and that was the day we created one of the most threatening scenes in the show. Magic can happen even when it’s unplanned and that is what makes theatre so special and why we will always bust our guts any way we have to in order to give life to a show.’
Danielle de Niese performs ‘Da tempeste il legno infranto’ from David McVicar’s Festival 2005 production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare.
Così fan tutte
Tom Harrison – Production Manager: ‘Using real water in the pools in the upstage terrazzo of the set created many new challenges. The two boys splash through it as they make their escape at the end of part one, so it can’t be too cold! We had very wet boots to deal with in the interval too! Originally, there was a fountain in the water pools but it was instantly cut after the first orchestral rehearsal, for the simple reason that the ‘pitter-patter’ of water was rather distracting. It might have been particularly distracting for those members of the audience who had not taken a comfort break during the interval too!’
What are your favourite Glyndebourne moments?
We don’t have to tell our Members that Glyndebourne is a place where precious memories are made. During this difficult time we would love to hear your favourite Glyndebourne moments, so we can share them with you now, and look forward to making more of them when this crisis is over. Maybe a particular performance moved you, or you celebrated a special life event in the gardens? Let us know by filling in the form below, and we will share a selection next week.