What makes Glyndebourne unique?
The first Glyndebourne operas were watched by friends and guests of the family, invited by founder John Christie. Today our reach is wider, but our relationship with our audience remains unusually personal. They are not just spectators. More than half of them support Glyndebourne directly through donations or volunteering time. They take pride in Glyndebourne, bringing us affection and passion, telling us what we do right and what we get wrong.
Although we receive valued Arts Council support for the Tour and some educational work, the Festival receives no public subsidy. We’re a registered charity, funded by our box office and our members and supporters. Even our 1,200-seat opera house, completed in 1994, was built without a penny of taxpayers’ money.
We treasure this financial independence. We believe it confers artistic independence, allowing us to be more original, inventive – and truly ourselves. So, for example, we can give our artists exceptionally generous preparation and rehearsal time: one of the keys to consistently high artistic standards. The Festival alone is the result of around 1,750 hours of rehearsal and music preparation.
Away from the mainstream cultural citadels, this is an inspiring place that brings out the best in artists. During a break in rehearsals, a stroll through the gardens or a view across the Downs can do more for the soul than a congested city street.
The same is true for our audiences. To visit Glyndebourne is to be immersed in a different world. A stroll, or a picnic, in our grounds is part of the Glyndebourne experience and the gardens have their own enthusiastic supporters.
‘It’s too expensive for people like me’
Yes, you can pay up to £250 for a seat – although we also offer some standing tickets for £10. If you’re under 30 you can come for just £30 on one of our under-30s nights. And whatever your age, you can see a Tour production at Glyndebourne or around the UK for as little as £15. It’s also worth watching out for our UK and international cinema screenings, at around £10 a ticket.