News and Features

Thanks to our Supporters: a look back at 2018

Glyndebourne relies on generous supporters – people like you – who are passionate about opera

As we approach the end of the year we wanted to take a moment to look back at 2018 and acknowledge just some of the many achievements made possible thanks to our kind supporters.

Glyndebourne relies on generous supporters – people like you – who are passionate about opera.

Our donors ensure that we can create world-class transformative opera, by the most talented of artists and production teams. And that people of all ages have greater opportunities to enjoy our work and get involved. With your support we can continue to open hearts and minds to opera.

Thank you.

Festival Productions

Giulio Cesare (Sarah Connolly) and Cleopatra (Joélle Harvey) in Giulio Cesare, Festival 2018. Photo by Bill Cooper

Each year our festival productions are made possible thanks to full production support from Lead sponsors, a Syndicate of individuals and our recently launched Production Circle. Thanks to our supporters we were able to offer world class opera for all to enjoy.

Across all productions in 2018, at least 93% of our audience thought the cast were ‘good or better’ and 99% of the audience agreed the orchestra were ‘good or better’.

Giulio CesareSaul and Vanessa received the highest ratings among our audiences in terms of quality of production, with 98%, 97% and 96% rating these productions as good or better respectively.

Under 30s

Under 30s audience, photo by Sam Stephenson

Many young people, aged 16-29, have enjoyed their first experience of opera through our Under 30s Programme which has offered subsidised £30 tickets to Festival productions since 2006. The subsidy for Under 30s tickets is raised through philanthropic support. In 2018 individual donors gave a total of £117,000 which contributed towards the overall costs of underwriting these tickets.


‘Without the Glyndebourne Under 30s scheme I would not have been able to experiment in the breadth of opera I saw. The opera world to an outsider can seem unfriendly and unapproachable, but using the Under 30s programme as an entry point I quickly discovered it was quite the opposite. The Festival has become a key highlight in my calendar each year.’ – Glyndebourne Under 30s member


Emma Bell as Vanessa, Festival 2018. Photo by Tristram Kenton

With investment of £482,000 we were able to film two new Festival productions in 2018 – Madama Butterfly and Vanessa. These two productions were screened in 150 cinemas across the UK, online and available for free for one week on the Glyndebourne website and through The Telegraph’s website. Investment in filmed content enables us to broaden our reach and share the magic of opera with a world-wide audience.

Securing Artistic Excellence

Each year we aim to raise £1 million to invest in the New Generation Programme which focuses on developing future audiences and securing artistic excellence in young singers. One of the many artist development programmes made possible thanks to support of the New Generation Programme is the Glyndebourne Academy which facilitates the discovery and development of talented singers aged 16-26 who have faced social and economic barriers to pursuing a career in music.

Them without judgement, and to give them a real chance to make up for lost time due to finances, illness, disability – or in my case, the two years lost while taking testosterone. From the very first audition, I felt supported and loved… After leaving the Academy, I felt a renewed sense of ambition, and a sense of hope in my career that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I now have the confidence to know that I’m on the right path, and that I have mentors to support that.’ – Holden Madagame, Academy participant 2017

Debut Artist Scheme

Virginie Verrez (Erika) in Vanessa, Festival 2018. Photo by Tristram Kenton

Glyndebourne places great importance on helping talented singers gain the experience and exposure they need to launch successful careers. Our Debut Artists Scheme nurtures and promotes exciting talent by giving them debut roles in Glyndebourne productions. We offer the opportunity to sponsor an individual artist so you too can experience their first steps onto the Glyndebourne Festival stage.

20 singers were given their Festival debut in 2018. Among the singers making their debuts, and who are set for very successful international careers, include Olga Busuioc (Cio-Cio-San), Joshua Guerrero (Lieutenant B F Pinkerton) and Simon Mechlinski (Yamadori) who all performed in Madama Butterfly; Christina Gansch who performed the role of Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande, Stephanie Lauricella who was Annina in Der Rosenkavalier and Virginie Verrez who performed Erika in Vanessa.

Raise Your Voice

Raise Your Voice summer picnic 2018, photo by Kate Simner

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Raise Your Voice – an opera project for local people living with dementia and their carers. Thanks to donations to our Education programme we are able to offer a welcoming and friendly place for beneficiaries to be creative and enjoy spending time together as part of a bigger group.

During the sessions participants work with professional musicians to explore an opera from the Glyndebourne repertoire, using music, drama, dance, and craft activities to create their own response to the opera.

Production Hub

Production hub October 2018, photo by Vicky Skeet

This year we embarked on a large capital project to build a new facility for our world-class making departments.

The Glyndebourne Production Hub is the largest building project we have undertaken since the rebuild of the Opera House and wouldn’t have been possible without generous legacies. This year donations to our Annual Fund will contribute towards the funding of equipment for the Production Hub which is essential to the ongoing creation of out of the ordinary opera.


Eléonore Pancrazi (Prince Charming) and Caroline Wettergreen (The Fairy) in Cinderella, Tour 2018. Photo by Richard Hubert Smith

This year we celebrate 50 years of the Glyndebourne Tour. Thanks to support from Arts Council England and individuals we are able to take our productions out on the road to broaden our audiences, whilst also providing development opportunities for up-and-coming talent. This year’s Glass Slipper Circle Campaign enabled us to stage the new production of Cendrillon for audiences to enjoy across the UK.

‘Caroline Wettergreen is near perfection as the Fairy, casting a spell over the audience with her top notes light as thistledown.’ – Financial Times


Thank you

Maintaining financial independence is fundamental to Glyndebourne. We value this financial independence because we believe it allows us to be original and inventive and take appropriate artistic risks, whilst providing necessary discipline to plan ahead.

We would like to thank all our supporters that have made 2018 possible. With your support we have been able to excite and inspire future generations.

If you would like to find out more about how you can become involved in supporting Glyndebourne please contact the Development Department at or call 01273 815419.

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