Glyndebourne reading list

Brush up on all things opera with our bibliography of books and recordings that cover Glyndebourne’s history and background.

The key texts that tell the story of Glyndebourne’s history and background are listed below. All these materials are available to view at the Glyndebourne archive.


  • Glyndebourne Festival Programme books (published annually from 1952 to present day)
  • Glyndebourne: A Short History by Michael Kennedy, updated by Julia Aries (Shire Books, 2019). Available from Glyndebourne Shop.
  • A Slim Volume by George Christie — Shortly before he passed away in 2014, Sir George Christie (Glyndebourne Chairman, 1958-1999) started writing an account of his life at Glyndebourne (Glyndebourne, 2016). Available from Glyndebourne Shop.
  • John Christie of Glyndebourne by Wilfrid Blunt (Geoffrey Bles, 1968)
  • Glyndebourne: A History of the Festival Opera by Spike Hughes (David and Charles, 1981)
  • 50 Years of Glyndebourne — A lavishly illustrated history with text by John Julius Norwich (Jonathan Cape, 1985)
  • Glyndebourne: An Operatic Miracle — An updated history by John Jolliffe (John Murray, 1999)
  • Glyndebourne: Building A Vision — The story of the old and new Opera Houses at Marcus Binney and Rosy Runciman (Thames and Hudson, 1994)
  • Glyndebourne: A Visual History — A photographic history to celebrate Glyndebourne’s 75th anniversary, by Brigitte Lardinois and Val Williams, with linking text by Sir George Christie. (Quercus, 2009). Available from Glyndebourne Shop.
  • Glyndebourne Recorded — Glyndebourne’s commercially released recordings on vinyl record, cassette, CD and video, plus some television and radio broadcasts by Paul Campion and Rosy Runciman (Julia MacRae Books, 1994)
  • The Making of an Opera by John Higgins (Secker and Warburg, 1978)
  • The story of Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne.
  • A Season at Glyndebourne — Black and white photographic studies of the 1987 season by Ira Nowinski (Christopher Helm, 1988)
  • Glyndebourne – The Gardens — by Anne Scott James and Christopher Lloyd, with a foreword by Lady Christie (Published for Glyndebourne by the Peterhouse Press, 1983)
  • Glyndebourne: A Garden for All Seasons — by David Wheeler with drawings by Simon Dorrell (Bryansground Press, 2000)
  • Glyndebourne: A Celebration — Essays by George Christie, Peter Hall, Bernard Haitink, John Cox, Raymond Leppard, John Pritchard, Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Isaiah Berlin, Asa Briggs, John Julius Norwich, Gillian Widdicombe. Edited by John Higgins (Jonathan Cape, 1984)
  • Emperors of Song —  A look at the last great impresarios including John Christie by Freddie Stockdale (John Murray, 1998)
  • James Inverne talks to The Impresarios — Including George Christie (Oberon Books, 2000)
  • Dinghies to Divas — Autobiography by Moran Caplat, Glyndebourne’s General Director 1949 – 1981 (Collins, 1985)
  • In This Theatre of Man’s Life — The biography of Carl Ebert By Peter Ebert (The Book Guild Ltd, 1999)
  • 5000 Nights at the Opera — First installment of Rudi Bing’s autobiography, which covers his Glyndebourne years. (Hamish Hamilton, 1972)
  • Fritz Busch – Dirigent — Biography by Grete Busch – in German. (S. Fischer, 1970)
  • The Hitler Emigrés – The cultural impact on Britain of refugees from Nazism By Daniel Snowman (Chatto and Windus, 2002)


  • Glyndebourne: The House That George Built a documentary about the rebuilding of the opera house  
    • Christopher Swann Associates for Channel 4 Television (Praxis Films Ltd PRXV103, 1994)

Audio Tapes

  • Glyndebourne Remembered – A collection of reminiscences of Glyndebourne’s earliest days, taken from oral history interviews made by Glyndebourne and the British Library National Sound Archive and presented by James Naughtie.
    • (© Glyndebourne Productions Ltd 2018)

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