Glyndebourne Festival

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Renowned family-run summer season opera festival
England's consummately civilised opera experience is a special affair involving an hour-long train journey south of London to lush East Sussex, followed by a cab or coach to a century-straddling residence and its spacious grounds โ€” the setting of an opera house in which descendants of John Christie run a summer season started by their visionary ancestor and his young soprano wife in 1934. Generously praised for its design and accoustics, the present building was constructed in 1994, and accommodates 1,200 high-paying attendants, clothed in customary but no longer compulsory evening dress. Glyndebourne started as a Mozart festival but now ventures further afield in the repertoire, with performances beginning in the afternoon to accommodate an extended supper break โ€” including optional lawn picnics in which table cloth, glass, china, cutlery and a cooler bag are all provided โ€” and perambulation during the interval; the unusually early start crucially also allows for the chance to comfortably catch the train back to London. Gimmick-free productions are consistently lauded for their high standard showcasing the cream of international talent.


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