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Introducing... In the Market for Love

Find out everything you need to know about this fabulous French farce, which hits the Glyndebourne stage this October

There are only a few weeks to go until the Glyndebourne stage springs to life once more!

Our socially distanced autumn season kicks off with Offenbach’s In the Market for Love, which comes indoors following its sell-out run in the gardens this summer.

Find out everything you need to know about this fabulous French farce…

A brief introduction

After taking the very sad decision to cancel Festival 2020, the hunt was on for a piece that could be produced quickly and within social distancing guidelines. Taking up directorial duties, our Artistic Director Stephen Langridge was searching for something that ‘gave a good chance for a belly laugh, with only a few people in it, that would be fun, and had a broad enough comic style to work as an outdoor performance’ he says.

Working with librettist Stephen Plaice, the pair soon settled on the early works of Offenbach. The composer’s opera buffas were perfect – short comic operas, requiring only a few performers that with a few tweaks and some clever staging could be made to work within the guidelines. Mesdames de la Halle stood out to them as a work that met all the requirements and could say a few things about life in a pandemic too…

Bursting with larger-than-life characters and big tunes, this comic miniature sees romance blossom between a handsome young cook and the charming orphan Ciboulette among the market stalls of Paris. Expect intrigue, unexpected revelations and joyful happily-ever-afters.

Why not to miss this production

Assistant Director Fiona Dunn sums up In the Market for Love’s appeal perfectly when she says ‘it’s a really good piece for the time that we’re in. Some people will have had a really terrible time, who knows what their COVID experience has been. If they can come along and smile and have a bit of a giggle then that’s a little break from whatever they’re going through’.

The production was a big hit with audiences when it was performed outdoors this summer, and has now been completely reworked for the Glyndebourne stage, with a cast of exceptional singers.

Why not make a day of it and indulge in one of our dining experiences – afternoon tea or three-course fine dining at our restaurant? We’ve even prepared socially distanced picnicking spots in our marquees, for those who’d prefer to bring their own food.

We’re carefully following the latest Public Health England guidelines and have adopted additional measures to keep you safe, including temperature checks. Find out what to expect during your visit in our step-by-step guide.

A great moment to look out for

By setting the opera during a pandemic, this production turns its social distancing restrictions into a virtue, with some clever moments of visual comedy which will be familiar to an audience that have been living with COVID-19 safety measures for the last few months. 

An absolute stand out moment is the socially distanced fight scene between the market sellers, which had the audience in stitches at every performance this summer. As singer Nicky Spence, who played Madame Beurrefondu this summer, says ‘opera is a contact sport, so we’ve had to be very creative!’

Cast and creative team

Left to right: Kate Lindsey, Matthew Rose and Nardus Williams

We are very pleased to welcome back Ben Glassberg (Principal Conductor of the Glyndebourne Tour) to conduct the Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra for these performances.

A number of cast members return from this summer’s performances, with Glyndebourne favourites Matthew Rose and Kate Lindsey reprising their roles as the officious Market Inspector and the love-struck Harry Coe.

An exciting new addition to the cast is soprano Nardus Williams as Ciboulette, who comes to us fresh from playing Mimi in ENO’s Drive In performances of La bohème. Nardus is a former Jerwood Young Artist and she previously appeared at Glyndebourne in 2018’s Der Rosenkavalier, and was one of the professional singers who headlined Belongings, our 2018 youth opera.

Brenden Gunnell and Michael Wallace are back as ladies of the market Mademoiselle Bouillabaisse and Madame Mangetout, and they are joined by Rupert Charlesworth (last seen in Tour 2017’s Hamlet) completing the trio as Madame Beurrefondu.

The cast is completed by Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts, who has appeared in countless Glyndebourne productions since his debut in 1997, most recently as Polonius in the 2017 Tour production of Hamlet.

In the Market for Love is on stage until 25 October

Image credits: Richard Hubert Smith, In the Market for Love, Autumn 2020

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