We want to share our passion for opera with as many people as possible.
Forging partnerships helps us do this and we enjoy rich creative relationships with a wide range of partners. As committed collaborators, we believe in working together to share ideas and problem solve as a community, across generations.
At Glyndebourne our mission is to create extraordinary operatic experiences. In developing partnerships we take an open and inventive approach to unite our aims with those of our partners and create projects that deliver significant benefits to the communities, artists and individuals we engage with.
We work closely with Music Education Hubs in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove, contributing on a strategic level to develop and improve singing and vocal provision for young people in the region, and working together to deliver activity in support of our shared aims.
We work in partnership with universities and higher education institutions in Sussex and across our residencies to provide access to Glyndebourne expertise and opera insight for students across a range of disciplines, and to develop and contribute to research linked to Learning & Engagement themes.
Photo by James Bellorini
Each summer Glyndebourne and the University of Brighton collaborate to offer an artist residency for three PGCE Art & Design students. The selected students are granted exclusive access to Glyndebourne – its performances, grounds, staff and rehearsal rooms – and are invited to create an artistic response to their experiences. The residency gives students a chance to create work in their own right as an artist, free from expectations of output, and to take the knowledge and confidence gained into their teaching career.
Our 2023 Teaching Artists are Ash Stewart, Mair Elen Park and Tessa Molden.
The opera house is a really intriguing environment buzzing with imagination in a beautiful location that I would love to respond to. I am interested in what I could find there, loose scraps of sets, objects left behind by patrons below their seats or in the gardens after picnics perhaps, or oddities and patterns around the site that catch my attention.
It’s a rich space full of human creation and whilst I loved exploring the gardens during my visit to be able to really sink my teeth onto the nitty gritty, nooks and crannies of the place would be incredible.
The world of storytelling through opera is one that I am unfamiliar with but absolutely enchanted me when we visited and I would adore the chance to become better acquainted and be able to share with my students, and I can’t think of any greater way to do so than through my art making.
Mair Elen Park
This opportunity to retreat into the Sussex landscape and be immersed in the arts, nature, community, history and the magic of the summer festival would be a game changer. It would allow me the space and inspiration to re-engage with my own artwork, taking all my explorations and growth from the last year and channelling it into a body of work that attempts to capture the extraordinary experience of Glyndebourne. I would relish the opportunity of exhibiting in such a prestigious space, working with and learning from the curator.
I’m fascinated by conveying narrative in a static image, and opera would provide a powerful start. I’d be particularly excited to experience The Rake’s Progress, as I am intrigued by Hockney’s designs—how he bounces off Hogarth—and similarly how Stravinsky subverts Mozart: the idea of the pastiche, and borrowing and manipulating arts over time. Lubaina Himid’s artwork has influenced and inspired me for years, so I would be thrilled to spend time with her bold, rich paintings and objects in the gallery.
I’d love to engage with the props, costumes and archives, in order to research, explore and document. The opportunity to observe rehearsals, exploring ways to respond visually to the performance and sounds, would be a powerful creative stimulus. This ‘cross-pollination’ between music and art is an area I’ve researched heavily and endeavour to embed into teaching. I would constantly gather ideas for collaboration and inspiration to take into school.
I am hugely excited by the possibility of my practice being transported by the realm of opera.
In my paintings, I take everyday moments and translate them into poetic portals—a quality that I would be looking to take further in this Residency. With a focus on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Semele, I would aim to look into how themes of love and desire are portrayed through the visual, aural, and spatial elements of theatre design.
Nature is also a key component of my practice, which I fluidly portray in connection with the urban environment. This is something that I would aim to develop through the Residency, creating paintings and drawings of both Glyndebourne’s grounds and the inner workings of the opera house, shedding light on how the two interconnect.
I am also excited by the possibility of having access to Glyndebourne’s Archives to explore past materials related to light design. Light is a key component of my paintings, and during this Residency, I would be looking to dive deeper into its use in opera productions at Glyndebourne. With the view of including elements from the archive into the October exhibition, I would hope to share this resource with visitors.
The opportunity to gain access to Glyndebourne’s Learning and Engagement workshops is also of key interest to me as a trainee teacher. With a passion for facilitating learning experiences related to the arts, I would be very keen to gain insight into how Glyndebourne connects its programmes to young people.
Each year Glyndebourne delivers workshops for PGCE students in partnership with Universities near Glyndebourne.
Students are invited to attend an Autumn Season performance and a creative workshop based on the repertoire. The workshop picks up on elements of the Glyndebourne production and brings together directors, singers and musicians to work with the students in engaging with aspects of performance and creative approaches. In addition to raising awareness of the art form, the workshops help with voice projection, confidence in standing up in front of a class and audience, working collaboratively, taking risks and introducing innovative creative and engaging starting points to classroom teaching and learning. In 2019 the programme included students from the following courses:
- University of Brighton – PGCE Art & Design
- University of Sussex – PGCE Music and PGCE Drama
“Opera is more accessible than I originally believed.” – PGCE student 2022
“This means I can take these skills into the classroom and inspire my own students to work confidently and collaboratively.” – PGCE student 2022
Photo by Kate Simner