News and Features

Productions that premiered on Tour

We take a trip down memory lane to explore the productions that have premiered on our Tour.

Over the last fifty years, our Tour has not only helped to support the careers of emerging talent, but also the creation of new opera.

From brand new productions of opera classics to world premieres of innovative new works, we take a trip down memory lane to explore the productions that have premiered on our Tour.

Rigoletto, 2019

Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

The Tour’s dedication to new opera continues this year with Glyndebourne’s first ever production of Verdi’s Rigoletto. Rising star Christiane Lutz directs Glyndebourne’s first-ever production, reimagining Verdi’s classic drama for our own age.

Rigoletto is on stage at Tour 2019. You can see it at Glyndebourne and venues around the country. Book now.

Cinderella (Cendrillon), 2018

Photo: James Bellorini

Fiona Shaw directed Glyndebourne’s first ever production of Massenet’s Cinderella (Cendrillon) for Tour 2018, a comic opera that celebrates the power of fantasy.

In this short video, Fiona Shaw introduces the production:

Madama Butterfly, 2016

Photo: Clive Barda

Glyndebourne’s first ever production of Madama Butterfly premiered during the Tour in 2016. Director Annilese Miskimmon set her production in 1950s Japan, confronting the darker political and emotional currents of the work.

Don Giovanni: Behind the Curtain, 2016

Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

Glyndebourne Tour 2016 saw the creation of Behind the Curtain, an event that explores how an opera is brought to the stage. Following the success of Don Giovanni: Behind the Curtain, Glyndebourne returned for Tour 2018 with La traviata: Behind the Curtain.

The Rape of Lucretia, 2013

Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

In celebration of the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth, a brand new production of The Rape of Lucretia was staged during the Tour in 2013. This dark historic tale was directed by Fiona Shaw. This was a homecoming for the opera, which had received its world premiere at Glyndebourne in 1946.

The Yellow Sofa, 2012

Photo: Robert Workman

The Yellow Sofa, originally directed by Frederic Wake-Walker, started as a Jerwood studio production shown during the Festival. Following its success, it returned for the Glyndebourne Tour in 2012 where it made its main stage debut.

Don Pasquale, 2011

Photo: Bill Cooper

Mariame Clement’s much loved production of Donizetti’s comic opera, Don Pasquale, was first staged during the Tour in 2011. This lively and popular production has been revived in the Tour and the Festival three times since.

L’elisir d’amore, 2007

Photo: Mike Hoban

L’elisir d’amore featured on the very first Tour in 1968. This new production was created for the Glyndebourne Tour in 2007 and has since transferred to the Festival. L’elisir d’amore returns to the Tour in 2019.

The Turn of the Screw, 2006

Photo: Mike Hoban

Benjamin Britten’s chilling ghost story The Turn of the Screw made its Glyndebourne debut in 2006 as part of the Glyndebourne Tour. This Jonathan Kent production set the story in post-war England.

Tangier Tattoo, 2005

Photo: Mike Hoban

Tangier Tattoo was the final part in a triptych of operas for young people commissioned by our education department, the other two were Misper and Zoë. It was a story of love, betrayal and drug smuggling set in Morocco aimed at young adults.

La bohème, 2000

Photo: Mike Hoban

Puccini’s La bohème was director David McVicar’s first ever production for Glyndebourne making its debut during the Tour in 2000. The production featured tenor Alfie Boe as Rodolfo.

The Last Supper, 2000

Photo: Mike Hoban

The Last Supper, a dramatic tableaux opera by Harrison Birtwistle, received its UK premiere as part of the Tour in 2000. It was a co-commission and co-production with the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin. A contemporary adaptation of the final days of Jesus, it was subsequently performed at the Festival in 2001.

Flight, 1998

Photo: Mike Hoban

Jonathan Dove’s hugely successful work, Flight, was commissioned by Glyndebourne and premiered as part of the Glyndebourne Tour in 1998. Flight was influenced by a real-life story about a refugee who lived in the airport, and has been performed at several opera houses around the world.

Owen Wingrave, 1995

Photo: Mike Hoban

Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave was the composers response to the Vietnam War. The opera follows the fortunes of a soldiering family called the Wingraves.

The Second Mrs Kong, 1994

Photo: Mike Hoban

The Second Mrs Kong was commissioned by Glyndebourne and had its world premiere during the Glyndebourne Tour in 1994. The opera follows the love affair between Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and the film character of King Kong.

Song of Love and Death, 1993

The 1993 British premiere of Siegfried Matthus’ opera Cornet Christoph Rilke’s Song of Love and Death marked the Tour’s 25th anniversary and recognised the role that Tour has in supporting new works.

La bohème, 1991

Photo: Guy Gravett

This production of La bohème was a new production for the Tour. The set, which featured a permanent metal staircase, was replicated in David McVicar’s later production of the opera for the Tour in 2000.

The Electrification of the Soviet Union, 1987

Photo: Guy Gravett

The Electrification of the Soviet Union was an opera commissioned by the BBC for Glyndebourne. It was recorded on Tour and then broadcast on TV in spring the following year.

Higglety Pigglety Pop!/Where the Wild Things Are, 1984

Photo: Guy Gravett

Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop! were performed as a double-bill during the Glyndebourne Tour in 1984. Both were adapted from Maurice Sendak’s much-loved children’s books. Where the Wild Things Are tells the tale of a little boy named Max and his dreams of a forest island inhabited by the Wild Things.

Der Freischütz, 1975

Photo: Guy Gravett

Der Freischütz was the first new production of an opera created specifically for the Glyndebourne Tour (then referred to as the Glyndebourne Touring Opera), and it was the first performance of this opera in an English translation, which was funded by a special Arts Council grant.

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