Glyndebourne cancels festival, launches online series

Glyndebourne has confirmed that the festival of opera will not take place in 2020. Instead, it will broadcast archive performances – for free – starting on 24 May.

“With a very heavy heart, we have taken the decision to cancel all remaining festival 2020 performances,” said festival organisers in a press release, adding: “the COVID-19 global pandemic has made it impossible for us to guarantee the safety of Company members and audiences.”

The festival was originally scheduled to start on 21 May and run until the end of August.

Now, the Glyndebourne Open House programme will take it place. Streaming on YouTube, the series kicks off with Michael Grandage’s production of The Marriage of Figaro. That is followed by Jonathan Kent’s Don Giovanni (31 May) and then Nicholas Hytner’s Cosi fan tutte (7 June)

Glyndebourne is also organising a cookery show inspired by the festival’s famous cuisine (23 May).

Commented artistic director Stephen Langridge: “We remain determined to share world-class opera with the public this summer; so, while the pandemic has forced us to abandon our beautiful theatre for now, I am delighted to be able to announce Glyndebourne Open House, beaming great music and theatre direct to people’s homes.”

Finally – to help support the festival, its staff and artists – Glyndebourne has launched the Glyndebourne Emergency COVID-19 Appeal. Full details can be found at