Glorious Glyndebourne, East Sussex
Did you hear about the raunchy art commissioned for this year's Glyndebourne Festival? It seemed to cause a stir in Middle England - we thought it was rather fab. It's courtesy of White Cube, the world-renowned contemporary gallery based in Shoreditch that's staging a pop-up space at Glyndebourne for the second year running. Raqib Shaw is this year's featured artist; a passionate opera fan, he's created three new paintings based on two of this year's productions, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg and A Midsummer Night's Dream. The latter was the one that caused raised eyebrows but really, it's a glorious, colourful, exuberant new take on an old favourite and I urge you to see it for yourselves.
You'll find the White Cube pop-up between the Mildmay restaurant and the lake and you can't really miss it - for all that it's described on the official website as 'a simple, bold structure' and that it's designed by 'an award-winning architectural studio', it looks like, well, a white(ish) cube. Some heathen was even heard to ask if there were shipping containers involved. But the point is, it sits comfortably in its beautiful surroundings and inside it's a pretty awesome gallery space.
When you visit Glyndebourne it's rather fun to look for the little quirks, known as the Glyndebourne Secrets. Spot the gargoyle in the brick wall of the theatre, or the Audrey Mildmay plaque; there's an original George VI Royal Mail box somewhere (go find it) and a statue of a tiny pug, representing the presence of pugs in the Christie family since the 1870s. I particularly love the props statues from the various operas over the years, including a 'Roman' bust from La Clemenza di Tito and a huge black statue from The Makropoulos Case.
There's also been some media comment about relaxing the dress code. For the Glyndebourne Festival from May to August it's still traditional to wear formal dress as a mark of respect to the performers, though you'll probably need some layers. If you have tickets for the Tour (October to December) the dress code is indeed more relaxed.
We can help you find your holiday accommodation near Glyndebourne, whether it's a country cottage for the week or a well-appointed apartment for a short break. Click here to see what we have close by. Enjoy the show!