Le nozze di Figaro
No opera means more to Glyndebourne than Le nozze di Figaro. When John Christie—country gentleman, Eton master and infantry officer—announced what seemed the absurd plan of staging an opera festival at his country house in Sussex as a love offering to his wife, the soprano Audrey Mildmay, Figaro was the only possible choice for the opening night in 1934, with Mrs. Christie as Susanna. Since then it has remained the quintessential Glyndebourne piece, with this summer’s new production the latest of many. Whether the sublime overture is enhanced by the appearance onstage of a 1950s automobile (to raucous guffaws during an exquisite woodwind passage) viewers may judge for themselves. Robin Ticciati, Glyndebourne’s music director-to-be, conducts the period instrument Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Le Nozze di Figaro plays at Glyndebourne through August 22. For more information, visit Glyndebourne.com. On August 17, The Guardian will live-stream a performance of the opera, which will be available on demand for a week thereafter. For more information, visit guardian.co.uk/Glyndebourne. Times displayed are Eastern Standard.
Photo: Alastair Muir
Lewes, East Sussex