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Why I donated to Glyndebourne

Glyndebourne Member Vanda Baker tells us what she loves about Glyndebourne, and what motivated her kind donation.

We are so grateful to everyone who generously donates to Glyndebourne, however big or small the gift.

We caught up with Member Vanda Baker to find out more about what she loves about Glyndebourne, and what motivated her kind donation.

WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF COMING TO GLYNDEBOURNE?

Richard (my late husband) and I first came to Glyndebourne in 1978. Sun Life of Canada were corporate sponsors at the time and Richard was going to join their Board, so we were invited to Glyndebourne to meet some of the other directors. We saw Così fan tutte, which was wonderful. I have seen several different productions of it since. I particularly remember the one set on an ocean liner!

WE ARE CELEBRATING 70 YEARS OF GLYNDEBOURNE FESTIVAL MEMBERSHIP THIS YEAR. WHEN DID YOU BECOME A MEMBER AND WHY?

We put our names on the waiting list [for Membership], despite attending with the company initially. We did a lot of corporate entertaining and colleagues from Canada were always keen to have invitations! But we were keen to become members in our own right and I think that the Membership came through about 30-35 years ago. Well worth the wait!

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE PERFORMANCE THAT YOU HAVE SEEN AT GLYNDEBOURNE?

Although almost anything I see at Glyndebourne is memorable, my favourite performance was seeing Gerald Finley as Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. We saw it in May 2011 for our wedding anniversary and it was sadly the last time that Richard and I were at Glyndebourne together. I went to the revival some years later and found it very emotional.

Do you have any especially memorable trips to Glyndebourne and what made them so?

Two, although I could easily name several more!

We took my parents to see Arabella, I think it was in 1984. My father was very musical – my mother less so, but she was a passionate gardener so we all had something that we loved! I remember as we walked round before the performance she was naming all the flowers. Arabella is an interesting opera, but it was the overall experience and having a lovely evening with my parents which made it particularly special.

My other favourite was the opening of the new theatre (26 years ago!). I remember where we sat, who we saw – everything! And since then every time I hear the opening bars of the overture to The Marriage of Figaro it takes me back to that night and gives me goosebumps! Richard and I laughed because when we came to take our seats in the theatre we were right at the front of the stalls, and felt it must be because our name began with ‘B’, and we had been seated alphabetically!

You kindly support Glyndebourne both by leaving a gift in your will and last year, by joining the Ebert Room Club (for those who give £1000+). What led you to increase your support?

Glyndebourne has been a milestone in my life. When Richard passed away and I had to update my will I thought of all the wonderful times that we shared at Glyndebourne, so it seemed natural to include a gift in my will to say thank you.

2020 was a year like no other and all those things that are important to us came into focus as we wondered whether we might lose them forever. I was full of admiration and gratitude to Glyndebourne for keeping the show on the road at such a time and wanted to ensure its future by becoming a regular supporter (as a member of the Ebert Room Club).


We are currently asking for donations to our Annual Fund, which will go towards essential upgrades to our backstage systems, allowing us to stay at the forefront of opera.

During online booking for Festival 2021, you will be invited to donate, and we would be so grateful for your support, at any level.

As a way of saying thank you to donors, we offer a range of benefits – starting with Ebert Room Club membership for donations of +£1000 – find out more about giving levels and benefits.

If you have any questions about donations we would love to hear from you – email our Development Manager, Tanya Richardson – tanya.richardson@glyndebourne.com

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