Oral histories

Hear the story of Glyndebourne, as told by the people who lived it, through the audio recordings in our Archive.

The Glyndebourne Archive, in collaboration with the British Library National Sound Archive, has been developing an oral history of Glyndebourne.

To achieve this, many of the people associated with Glyndebourne over the years have been interviewed and recorded. Those already interviewed include singers, designers, producers, musicians and staff, as well as those in other areas who contribute to the enjoyment of an evening at Glyndebourne, such as caterers and gardeners.

The object of the work is to shed new light on the organisation, its structure and administration, the productions presented and the personalities involved. Copies of interviews are kept at the National Sound Archive and in the Glyndebourne Archive, where they are available for educational and research purposes.


Below is a list of the people interviewed for the Glyndebourne Oral History Project.

Elisabeth Abercrombie – singer, 1938 and during the war

John Allen – Director of The Children’s Theatre, 1940s

Janet Baker – chorister, 1950s, principal, 1960s–1980s

Bryan Balkwill – conductor, 1950s and 1960s

Lady Barbirolli – orchestra member, pre-war

Mark Beddy – Finance Director, 1988–1997

Berit Berling – general assistant, early 1950s

Anthony Besch – assistant producer, 1950s

Thetis Blacker – chorister, 1950s, principal, 1970s

Morwenna Brewer – George Christie’s secretary, 1985–1990, Shop and Gallery Manager, 1991–1997

Jack Brymer – clarinettist, 1948–1963 and 1980s

John Bury – designer, 1970s and 1980s, new theatre adviser, 1987–1994

Moran Caplat – general manager, 1949–1981

John Christie – Founder and chairman of Glyndebourne, 1934–1958

Sir George Christie – chairman, 1958–2000

Lady Christie – wife of Sir George

Raymond Cohen – leader of the RPO, 1960–1963

John Cox – assistant producer 1959–1963, producer 1970s and 1980s, director of productions, 1971–1981

Douglas Craig – assistant to general manager, 1950s

Eric Crozier – producer/librettist and Nancy Evans – chorister, 1938, principal singer 1946, 1957, 1959–1960

Hugues Cuenod – singer, 1953–1987

June Dandridge – stage manager, 1951–1955, stage director, 1956–1959, production manager, 1960–1982

Ryland Davies – singer, 1960s–1990

Andrew Davis – conductor and musical director of Glyndebourne, 1989–2000

Brian Dickie – general administrator, 1981–1988

Peter Ebert – producer, 1950s and 1960s

Geraint Evans – singer, 1950–1951, 1953–1961

Leslie Fairweather – John Christie’s architect, 1950s

Gillian Fane – director of Glyndebourne Productions Ltd from the 1960s–1999, long-standing friend of Glyndebourne and the Christies

Marguerita Fowler – looked after evacuees at Glyndebourne during WW2, secretary to Glyndebourne Society Ltd, secretary to Mr Edwards and John Christie, involved with Children’s Theatre

Peter Gellhorn – chorus master, 1955–1960, 1974–1975, conductor, intermittently between 1956–1974

Florence Harvey – wife of former head gardener

Roy Henderson – singer, pre-war

Arthur Howell – lighting, 1946–1970s

Charmian Hughes – music librarian, 1973–1988

Christopher Hughes – Head Gardener, 1988–2006

Martin Isepp – music staff, 1957–1977, head of music staff, 1978–1993

Philip Jones – orchestra, late 1950s and 1964

Charlie Knowles – gardener, 1949–1973

Barbara Lane – chorister, 1935–1939

Raymond Leppard – music coach, 1954–1955, conductor, 1964–1984

Christopher Lloyd – gardens adviser

Felicity Lott – singer, 1976–1990s

Janet Moores – secretary, 1934–1945, secretary to Moran Caplat 1945–1959, assistant manager, 1960–1970, house manager, 1971–1978, accommodation manager, 1979–1988

Helen O’Neill – press and publicity, 1957, Head of Press and Publicity, 1969–1996

Nigel Osborne – composer

Robert Ponsonby – administrator, 1951–1955

Anita Roberti (Helen Walker) – chorister in Macbeth, 1939

Elisabeth Söderström – principal singer, 1957–1980

Ellen Thurman – secretary to Fritz Busch until 1951, administrative staff, 1950s

Carl Toms – assistant to Oliver Messel and designer, 1950s

Richard Van Allan – singer, 1964–1990s

Rosemary Vercoe – wardrobe mistress, 1951–1956, designer, 1950s and 1970s

Ian Wallace – singer, 1958–1969

Willard White – singer, 1978, 1980s

Susan Whitley (nee Kennaway) – member of the Children’s Theatre, 1946–1948

Anthony Whitworth-Jones – General Director of Glyndebourne, 1989–1998

Kathleen Wilson (Coates) – chorister, 1937–1938

Rae Woodland – singer, 1960s–1980

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