Supporter events at Glyndebourne
The Glyndebourne Development team tell us more about the special events they organise for our supporters throughout the year.
There are a host of opportunities to deepen one’s involvement and enjoy a closer relationship with our work.
Shannon Hay, Development Events Officer, tells us more about the events she’s hosted over the past year…
At the beginning of October we welcomed the return of the Glyndebourne Tour with our annual John Christie Society event, where those that have kindly pledged to leave a gift to Glyndebourne in their will were invited to enjoy a spot of afternoon tea. This was followed by an invitation to the final rehearsal of the much anticipated Fidelio. The day was a chance to not only enjoy Freddie Wake-Walker’s long awaited production but to gather, converse, laugh and share Glyndebourne memories amongst fellow opera lovers. After a year of lockdown this was food for the soul.
Photo: James Bellorini
Inevitably, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to take some events online. Back in May 2020, we braved the world of Zoom for the first time and invited our major donors to join Gus Christie, Sarah Hopwood and Stephen Langridge to celebrate the launch of Glyndebourne Open House, our weekly streams of Glyndebourne operas. This presented the opportunity to mark what would’ve been the opening night of the Festival. Naturally attendees were encouraged to dress up, with one guest surprising us with a DJ on top and cycling shorts on bottom! How very 2020!
Photo: James Bellorini
In July 2021, we held a special webinar for our Ebert Room Club (those who give £1,000+) with our Artistic Director, Stephen Langridge and former Jerwood Young Artist, Huw Montague Rendall, who performed as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte this summer. During the webinar we found out how rehearsals were going now that we were back in the auditorium (hooray!) and we also got a fascinating insight into Huw’s singing journey – he used to be in a rock band called Shrunk in the Wash; his audition for college was nearly scuppered because he’d been punched in the nose just before it; and he made his triumphant Festival debut as Guglielmo at exactly the same age to the day as his father had made his Glyndebourne debut – and in the same opera!
During Festival 2021, we hosted pre performance drinks for our supporters outside rather than indoors due to covid restrictions. Come rain, storms, gales and heatwave we were there to greet our supporters – many whom we had waited over a year to see in person. Next year we’ll be back in the usual spot, the Old Green Room, our ‘jewel in the crown’; a beautiful wood panelled room which overlooks the Glyndebourne gardens.
The Old Green Room | Photo: Jo Cameron
Some may not know that we arrange bespoke events for our Syndicate supporters, which can make for a truly memorable evening as one has the opportunity to host an exclusive dinner in the Old Green Room and meet the cast post-show. Once we were rather panicked to receive a request for a delivery of flamingos, in tribute to the time when they were evacuated to Glyndebourne from London Zoo during the war. I am relieved to report that the donor was in fact just pulling our leg! He had us worried for just a second…
Glyndebourne Archive Collection