Glyndebourne: The Untold History

Tune into BBC Four this Sunday 22nd June at 7.30pm to see ‘Glyndebourne: The Untold History’. The documentary examines what it takes to be a world-class opera house in 2014 and reveals how, through 80 years of passion, dedication and commitment to the art form, Glyndebourne has become one of the most beloved opera companies in the world.
Marking the 80th anniversary of Glyndebourne Festival, ‘Glyndebourne: The Untold History’, filmed this year, explores the beginnings of the opera house which sprang from the romance between founder John Christie and his opera singer wife, Audrey Mildmay and provides an insider’s view on the company as it prepares to present a new production of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, an opera which, like Glyndebourne itself, incorporates both tradition and innovation.  

The 90 minute film tells the story of the creation of this unique opera house and shows how it grew from the love story of John Christie and Audrey Mildmay into the international house of today.  It will also show the making of the new production of Der Rosenkavalier in the 150th anniversary year of the composer Richard Strauss. 
We discover how Der Rosenkavalier is entwined with the history of the Christie family and with Glyndebourne itself through the connections between Strauss and Carl Ebert, Rudolf Bing and Fritz Busch; the trio of German émigrés who were essential to Glyndebourne’s early success eighty years ago.
The new production of Rosenkavalier, directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Glyndebourne’s new Music Director, Robin Ticciati, is the first new production of the opera in 32 years at the festival.  Audiences will witness the journey from the early explorations of the music and libretto, through the development of the designs, staging and costumes, to meet some of the production’s principal singers, including Kate Royal who sings The Marschallin, as well as the costume and prop makers who help turn the creative team’s vision into a reality. The complete performance can be seen on BBC Arts Online (
‘Glyndebourne: The Untold History’ offers viewers unparalleled insight into the Glyndebourne Festival 2014 production of Der Rosenkavalier, available to watch in full on BBC Arts Online ( from June 22nd, and demonstrates the commitment, rigour and pioneering spirit which Glyndebourne brings to everything it does.
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