Monday, 23 June 2014

Glyndebourne Opera

The intention had been to view Tropic of Cancer on BBC2 last night; followed by Antiques Roadshow.

However, I switched channels, to BBC4, and began watching a documentary called Glyndebourne: The Untold History.

How glad I am that I saw this wonderful programme. It was utterly fascinating.

They are celebrating their 80th anniversary this year, 2014.

John Christie CH MC, a remarkable character, was, of course, the founder and driving force behind Glyndebourne's opera.

His grandfather was William Langham Christie (a distant cousin of the Langham Baronets).

The Christies are still seated at Glyndebourne (near Lewes, East Sussex) today, and of course that excellent opera festival flourishes.

Northern Ireland used to have a country house opera season for three weeks in June, for almost thirty years, Castleward Opera.

It did have plenty of individual support and I was very fond of it.

A few years ago, funding for Castleward Opera was withdrawn by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

It's just a shame that they didn't have more private or philanthropic sponsorship.

I have no idea whether Glyndebourne Opera receives support from the Arts Council of England; perhaps they don't need it.

There's been a void in Northern Ireland since Castleward opera ceased, however.

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