Glyndebourne has announced plans for a ‘staycation’ series of socially distanced indoor performances starting this month. The events replace the company’s annual autumn tour which was due to start at Glyndebourne on 9 October and visit Canterbury, Woking, Milton Keynes, Liverpool and Norwich, before returning to Sussex for a programme of festive concerts.
The autumn season opens with a production of In the Market for Love. This new opera by Stephen Plaice is based on Offenbach’s Mesdames de le Halle (1858). The new work premiered in Glyndebourne’s gardens in August and now becomes the first full-length opera to be performed on the opera house’s main stage since lockdown. Performances take place until 25 October.
November will see a 90-minute, semi-staged version of The Magic Flute (1791). A full version of Mozart’s final operatic masterpiece had been planned for the tour, but the opera house has conceded that this is no longer possible. This cut-down version will be performed in English and directed by Donna Stirrup. Leo McFall conducts the Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra.
The season will end with five Christmas concerts of opera highlights and yuletide classics, as well as a one-off performance featuring music from Beethoven’s Fidelio (1805) and Brahms’s beautiful violin concerto, with Robin Ticciati conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
“For more than 50 years the Glyndebourne Tour has been a crucial part of our artistic programme, allowing us to bring world-class opera to thousands of people around the country and continue our commitment to talent development,” Stephen Langridge, Glyndebourne’s artistic director, commented. “We are deeply disappointed that the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented us from going on the road this year, but we remain determined to find ways to keep performing.
“We have learned many useful lessons about how to present opera in a way that’s safe for audiences and performers throughout this summer’s special and memorable run of concerts and opera in our gardens, and now we are excited to be able to apply this knowledge and welcome audiences back into our beautiful opera house for the touring equivalent of a “‘staycation’.”
All performances will take place in the auditorium with a significantly reduced audience and in line with the latest guidance from Public Health England to ensure everyone’s safety. See Glyndebourne’s website for further information.
Socially distanced rehearsals of Stephen Plaice’s In the Market for Love took place this summer (Richard Hubert Smith).