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Beyond the stage: A newly curated art collection that evokes the style, drama and wonder of Glyndebourne

— April 2013

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Searn Henry, Lying Man

Bespoke works from some of the world’s most celebrated artists will be exhibited at the Glyndebourne Festival this year. As the 100-piece collection prepares to be installed, Glyndebourne is proud to announce the 15 artists showing paintings, sculpture and photography; inspired by Glyndebourne’s music, history and landscape to create work exclusively for the 2013 Festival exhibition.

This specially curated art collection offers over 90,000 opera lovers the rare opportunity to experience art normally reserved for private collections and galleries. Central to the 2013 Glyndebourne art collection are conceptual artist and painter Michael Craig-Martin and sculptor Sean Henry, both showing piecesfor the first time at an opera festival. The 2013 collection will show previously unseen work from the late Estella Campavias – described by Roy Oppenheim as ‘one of the most exciting sculptors of our time’. The Campavias sculptures will immerse Glyndebourne audiences in her world of form and figure; her work hovers between the abstract and figurative in its interpretation of the human form.

Susie Bacon (winner of The Royal Academy’s British Institution Prize for Sculpture) shows her new figurative sculpture inspired by the rhythm and harmony of Beethoven’s sonatas. Susie comments ‘they celebrate the spiritual development of man and are a humble sculptural response’. 

Also new to Glyndebourne in the 2013 collection is Andrew Gifford, recognized as one of the most innovative landscape painters working today. He combines traditional painting techniques and neon light to explore the effects of natural and artificial light on land. Photographer Ianthe Ruthven describes her Glyndebourne pieces as:

enhancing the effects of rhythm and movement in landscape….constructing composite images as a means of conveying the experience of the landscape. I convey the sense of being inside the landscape by juxtaposing different but related images of the same subject.

Other artists exhibiting in the Stalls Gallery in the 2013 Festival comprise returning artists and those new to Glyndebourne. Audiences can absorb the work of Julika de Fouw, Simon Dorrell, Peter Haslam-Fox, Tom Homewood, Janet Keith, Elizabeth Ockford, Tuema Pattie, Julian Sutherland-Beatson and Sarah Young. Each has produced works that evoke life on stage, in rehearsal and in the famed Glyndebourne gardens. Festival goers are offered the chance to buy these affordable pieces, enabling them to take a small piece of Glyndebourne home as an aide-mémoire to their 2013 Festival experience.

Curated by Gus Christie, Glyndebourne’s Executive Chairman, the art collection has supported Glyndebourne’s annual Festival for some 50 years. Each year, Glyndebourne’s unique 90-minute interval enables audience to explore the collection. Announcing the 2013 art collection, Gus Christie said:

Glyndebourne is about inspiration and a lot of what happens on stage is reflective of the surroundings from which it has evolved. We have been working hard to ensure this year’s collection harmoniously links the stage repertoire with the landscape and I’m pleased we have been able to reflect both emerging artists and those who are firmly rooted in the UK and overseas art scenes –a combination we also strive for with artists on the Festival stage.

 Artists whose work is included are:

Andrew Gifford

Elizabeth Ockford

Estella Campavias

Ianthe Ruthven

Janet Keith

Julian Sutherland-Beatson

Michael Craig Martin

Sean Henry

Tuema Pattie

Peter Haslam-Fox

Sarah Young

Simon Dorrell

Susan Bacon

Tom Homewood

Julika de Fouws

Glyndebourne’s Archive Gallery present two further exhibitions in 2013 that explore the operatic repertoire. The exhibitions are free to visit as part of theFestival experience. 

A history of Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne
Ariadne auf Naxoswas first presented by Glyndebourne at the Edinburgh Festival in 1950. It is not only Glyndebourne’s most-performed Strauss opera, it was also the first of the composer’s operas to be added to the Glyndebourne repertoire, and despite numerous attempts, the only one Sir Thomas Beecham ever conducted for Glyndebourne. 

Glyndebourne’s Baroque Renaissance
In the early 1990s Glyndebourne scheduled a change in the direction of future repertoire with plans for a new Handel piece in 1996. The success of Theodora was closely followed by Rodelinda (1998) and Guilio Cesare (2005). Glyndebourne’s baroque heritage will develop further in 2013 with the addition of our first ever French-baroque opera, Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie. This exhibition will seek to provide context for the new production. 


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