News and Features

50 Years of the Tour in 10 photos

2018 sees the fiftieth anniversary of Glyndebourne Tour, and here we take a look back at 10 photos of key moments in the Tour’s history.

Sir George Christie’s vision

Photo: Guy Gravett

Sir George Christie in 1968, the first year of the Tour. His vision for the Tour was to reach more people and to nurture new talent. We are proud to say that 50 years on the Tour continues to achieve just that.

Hitting the road for the first time

Loading the lorries up at Glyndebourne to go out on the road for the first time in 1968. In the early years the Tour was in Spring, the inaugural tour began on the 5 March 1968. We toured four operas (Don GiovanniDie ZauberflöteL’elisir d’amore and L’Ormindo) starting in Newcastle and continuing on to Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Oxford.

Photo: Guy Gravett

Sensational singers

Photo: Guy Gravett

We have supported many young artists throughout the years – many of whom have gone on to become incredible opera stars, including Gerald Finley, Felicity Lott, Valerie Masterson and Richard Van Allan. This image is of Gerald Finley from our Tour production of Death in Venice in 1989.

…and conductors

Robin Ticciati, now the Music Director at Glyndebourne, conducting Die Fledermaus in the Tour. This was the first production he ever conducted for Glyndebourne, and he was also Music Director of the Tour from 2007-2009.

Photo: Mike Hoban

The world stage

Photo: Guy Gravett

The Tour has visited seven venues abroad. The furthest it has been was Italy in 1989 and this is a picture of the company on stage at the Teatro Muncipale Valli in Reggio Emilia.

New productions

The Tour continues to present exciting new productions [the first being Der Freischütz in 1975]. Our 17th Tour premiere will be Massenet’s Cendrillon, directed by Fiona Shaw.

Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

Brand new opera

Photo: Guy Gravett

The Tour’s first commissioned work Higglety Pigglety Pop! Composed by Oliver Knussen and designed by Maurice Sendak is pictured here. There have been a total of 6 new commissions on the Tour over the past 50 years.

A first taste of opera

In 2006 we launched Performances for Schools which has given children the chance to experience a full production at a heavily subsidised rate. So far we have welcomed over 30,000 students at Glyndebourne and our other Tour venues.

Photo: Sam Stephenson

Tour on screen

Photo: Bill Cooper

The Tour hit the big screen in 2012, when a cinema screening was included in the programme for the first time. In autumn 2018 audiences will be able to see a screening of Der Rosenkavalier in select cinemas across the country.

Artists of the future

We launched the Tour Arts Competition in 2013 to provide a platform for emerging visual artists, a fitting extension to the Tours overarching vision of nurturing new talent. The winner in 2017 was Katie Ponder and, as part of her prize, the image was printed on the front cover of the Tour programme book.

Image: © Katie Ponder

You might also like

Photo gallery
Opera returns to Glyndebourne in our outdoor, socially dista…
Enter our prize draw to win a Glyndebourne Membership and £5…
Our shop's new David Hockney range features his iconic desig…
News and features
On the day that would have been Brighton Pride 2020, we want…
Glyndebourne is facing a devastating impact due to the loss …
Glyndebourne Shop
Our online shop offers a great selection of exclusive and locally sourced products. Every purchase supports our work.
Become a Member
Enjoy priority booking for the Festival. Find out how you can join as an Associate Member
Leave a lasting legacy
Help ensure Glyndebourne's future for generations to come