Glyndebourne is recognised internationally as one of the great opera houses; a reputation that stems from a passion for artistic excellence encapsulated in founder John Christie’s insistence on doing ‘not the best we can do but the best that can be done anywhere’.
John and his opera singer wife, Audrey Mildmay, founded the Glyndebourne Festival in 1934. In 1968 the Glyndebourne Tour was established to bring opera to new audiences across the country and create opportunities for talented young singers. Today Glyndebourne is a year-round operation. The Festival runs from May to August with a programme of six operas in a 1,200-seat opera house. The annual Tour takes place from October to December and a widely respected education programme is active year round staging new work and delivering projects to enhance the understanding and enjoyment of opera.
Together the Festival and Tour present 120 performances annually to an audience of 150,000 with many more people experiencing Glyndebourne’s work through its yearly programme of cinema screenings and free online streamings. Glyndebourne has pioneered specialist recordings to share its work with a global audience through these channels and as part of this mission to reach new audiences, also offers reduced-price tickets to under-30s.
Since it was founded, Glyndebourne has remained financially independent and, whilst receiving valued Arts Council support for the Tour and education work, the Festival receives no public subsidy. As a registered charity Box Office income, membership and supporters fund Glyndebourne’s work.