GLYNDEBOURNE – 5 miles (10 minutes by car) Season runs May to August.
Glyndebourne is a country house, thought to be about six hundred years old, located near Lewes in East Sussex, England. It is also the site of an opera house which, with the exception of its closing during the Second World War, for a few immediate post-war years, and in 1993 during the construction of the new theatre, has been the venue of the annual Glyndebourne Festival Opera since 1934.
John Christie’s fondness for music led him to hold regular amateur opera evenings in this room, and it was at one of these in 1931 that he met his future wife, the Sussex-born Canadian soprano Audrey Mildmay, a singer with the Carl Rosa Opera company who had been engaged to add a touch of professionalism to the proceedings. They were married on 4 June 1931 and during their honeymoon attending the Salzburg and Bayreuth festivals, Christie and his wife developed the idea of bringing professional opera to Glyndebourne, although Christie’s original concept was for it to be similar to the Bayreuth Festival. As their ideas evolved, the concept changed to focus on smaller-scale productions of operas by Mozart which would be well suited to the intimate scale of the planned theatre.