From 18 May – 25 August, East Sussex comes alive thanks to Glyndebourne, the quintissentially British summer celeberation of all things opera.
Created in 1934 by John Christie and Audrey Mildmay who shared a love of the unique music genre, Glyndebourne today is all about celebrating all that opera has to offer. From nurturing and showcasing budding talent to curating art exhibitions, Glyndebourne festival is a sophisticated summer affair that draws opera lovers from all over the world to experience world class music in a classic and beautiful setting.
The C&TH Guide to The Glyndebourne Festival 2019
18 May – 10 July
Produced by Richard Jones, this ‘dramatic legend’ is a thrilling and intensely bold opera. The story follows Faust, who meets his smooth-talking evil guide Méphistophélès. After being talked from brink of suicide, Faust is promised all the happiness in the world in exchange for one thing – his soul…
8 June – 2 August
A re-telling of a classic tale. One for the family, Cendrillon (Cinderella) is magically enhaced by the orchestra and will make the audience fall in love with the romantic tale all over again.
18 July – 24 August
Almost completely sold out, Die Zauberflöte is Mozart’s comedy that is being showcased at the festival for the first time in over a decade. It’s a fairytale with themes of true love, darkness and truth, good and bad, and magical quests.
19 May – 14 July
Known as the greatest operatic comedy, Il barbiere di Siviglia has been described as ‘stylish’ and ‘surreal’ and draws the audience into the story by asking the question of what should win, love or greed?
Discover the full line up at glyndebourne.com
What to Wear
The tradition of an evening dress code during the Glyndebourne Festival originated with founder John Christie, who felt that it was one of the ways the audience could show its respect for the performers.
Formal evening dress is customary for the summer festival. Given the perils of the British weather, it is advisable to bring an additional, warm layer; cardigans, wraps and jackets are recommended.
Changing facilities, if required, are provided in the Plashett building at the foot of the car park as indicated on the Glyndebourne site map.
What to Eat
The extensive gardens of Glyndebourne are prime picnicking real estate and you can choose where you would like your picnic set up for you from a map. Guests can hire tables, porter set-up, picnic and picnic waiters if choosing one of Glynderboure’s catered picnics. If bringing their own, guests can book a table or chair, but are also welcome to just bring a blanket! For restaurant meals, choose from fine dining, rustic and wholesome dining, buffet-style or afternoon tea options. A champagne bar, deli and traditional bar are also on site. Want more recommendations? Read our guide to the best restaurants and where to eat nearby the festival.
Where to Stay
The Lamb Inn
It sounds a bit fictional, The Lamb Inn at Wartling, like something from a TV comedy, which is fitting, since the owner is on telly himself, and full of humour too. On Antiques Road Trip, James Braxton nips round the country in an open-top car, searching for bargains, but this pretty corner of Sussex, overlooking Pevensey Levels, is home. When the village pub came up for sale, he and his wife bought and decorated it beautifully (plenty of antiques), including the five simple, charming and inexpensive bedrooms upstairs. It’s run by their sons, Charlie, 26, and Ned, 23, who cheerfully preside over a place full of warmth and atmosphere, with good food courtesy of an equally young kitchen team. Charlie’s collection of vinyl records gets aired on a turntable in an alcove; milk churns double for stools along the bar; there are cosy and elegant eating areas, including a courtyard. A great spot, full of fun. Doubles from £95. Under 30 minutes from Glyndebourne.