A statement from Glyndebourne:

With a very heavy heart, we have taken the decision to cancel all remaining Festival 2020 performances. It was our hope to open on 14 July, but the persistence of the COVID-19 global pandemic has made it impossible for us to guarantee the safety of Company members and audiences. We have launched the Glyndebourne Emergency COVID-19 Appeal to help our artists and seasonal staff – two thirds of our workforce – who face a devastating loss of income from this closure, and to help ensure Glyndebourne’s continuity so we can be here for everyone in the future.

We are determined that Glyndebourne will share music this summer, however, and so we are delighted to announce that our first ever virtual festival, Glyndebourne Open House, will open on Sunday 24 May. We will be bringing the Glyndebourne Festival experience direct to people’s homes by streaming a full-length opera, for free, on Glyndebourne’s YouTube channel at 5pm every Sunday, and helping the public to recreate an afternoon at the Festival in their own homes.

Glyndebourne Open House will commence with Michael Grandage’s much-loved production of The Marriage of Figaro. The second two weeks will also see us team up with Classic FM, the UK’s most popular classical music station, which will stream Nicholas Hytner’s Così fan tutte and our acclaimed Don Giovanni, directed by Jonathan Kent, from their Facebook page alongside our YouTube broadcasts. In keeping with the Festival experience, our caterers Restaurant Associates will be holding a live ‘Glyndebourne Open House picnic’ cookery demo on Saturday 23 May and although there is no dress code, we encourage viewers to step away from their day-to-day lockdown lives, dig into their wardrobes and dust off their best outfit.

Whether in gardens, on balconies, front steps or in living rooms, we are looking forward to seeing pictures of people recreating the Glyndebourne Festival for themselves at home.

Stephen Langridge, Glyndebourne’s Artistic Director, says: ‘We remain determined to share world-class opera with the public this summer; so, while the pandemic has forced us to abandon our beautiful theatre for now, I am delighted to be able to announce Glyndebourne Open House, beaming great music and theatre direct to people’s homes. For Glyndebourne itself, however, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be devastating. As a privately funded charity that receives no public subsidy for the Festival, we are reliant on Box Office income. For our artists and seasonal staff, this means the loss of their livelihoods. Your donations will help us to support them and ensure Glyndebourne’s future for everyone.’

Robin Ticciati, Glyndebourne’s Music Director, says: ‘While it is heart-breaking not being able to perform live for our audiences this summer, I have such hope for what we will all feel as a community when we emerge from this troubled time. The need for live music and opera will surely burn ever brighter.’ 

Full details about this appeal and ticket refunds can be found on glyndebourne.com