News and features

Preparing for Festival 2019

Find out what our busy staff are up to in the run up to the opening of the Festival.

We went back to some of the Glyndebourne staff who starred in our Festival trailer and asked them what they’ve been doing this week to prepare.
watch the Festival 2019 trailer

Kevin Martin

Head Gardener

“The days leading up to the Festival opening are a busy time and involve putting the final touches to the Glyndebourne grounds as well as a general tidy-up of the space. We have been re-turfing around the new sculptures by Nicholas Hare as well as digging trenches to add in some extra lighting on trails. We are currently fixing benches in preparation for the audience as well as extra planting in the greenhouses and outside the marquee.”

Ed Clifton

Stage Technician

“The coming days before the Festival opens, on stage we will be working over any notes that might have come up during the piano dress and final rehearsal for the productions. This consists of all elements: scenic, lighting, costume, wigs and make-up. This process will continue right up until the opening night. We will also be servicing and maintaining the other productions in the rehearsal rooms.”

Lucy Harris

Running Wardrobe Manager

“Running Wardrobe are following rehearsals closely for the new production of La damnation de Faust, noting how many quick changes need to happen and how fast they are. We are also working out whether the costumes need to be preset on the side of stage or in dressing rooms and where each item of clothing may end up during the show. With over 100 costumes and over 70 changes this is quite a challenge.

Alongside this, the costumes for the first three shows are gradually being delivered to the theatre to be checked, steamed and set ready for the performances. Systems are being set up to make sure each show’s costumes are not mixed up and everything is labelled clearly. The logistics of turning around several shows running at once needs careful planning and organisation.”


Events Manager

“I literally can’t believe the season is nearly upon us but we are all very excited and are looking forward to another successful year with hopefully lots of sunshine.

We have lots of new people starting this year alongside many faithful and fantastic returners.

The chefs are very busy putting together the final touches to the menu and dishes. We have also just had our catering dress rehearsal – our first main evening of catering – for Glyndebourne staff (onstage and off) which was a lot of fun, busy and a great practice for what is in store for us all just in case we have all forgotten!”


Customer Service Supervisor

“Every season we welcome lots of new and returning Front of House staff, so we’ve been very busy with lots of training. It’s always great fun getting to know a new team!

And of course the ultimate pre-season challenge of trying to find fabulous yet comfortable shoes to wear when I’m on a duty as House Manager during the Festival. It’s a big site and we are often dashing about from the car park, to the lawns and auditorium; the distances soon add up!”

Festival 2019 opens on Saturday 18 May

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