Sky Arts to broadcast new documentary ‘Glyndebourne: No Ordinary Summer’

A new documentary going behind-the-scenes of an extraordinary summer at Glyndebourne will be free for everyone to watch on Sky Arts on Sunday 20 December 2020.

Glyndebourne: No Ordinary Summer tells the inside story of the company’s battle to get back to live performance after UK theatres were forced to close in March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each summer, audiences flock to the Glyndebourne Festival for world-class opera. Then came 2020, the pandemic and lockdown. This behind-the-scenes documentary reveals the spirit and determination that ensured the show could go on, resulting in Glyndebourne becoming the first UK opera house to perform full-length opera to a live audience since the start of the pandemic.

That opera, a new translation of Offenbach’s Mesdames de la Halle called In the Market for Love, premiered outside in the Glyndebourne gardens in August 2020. The story was reimagined to take place at the time of a pandemic, turning social distancing restrictions into a virtue, with clever moments of visual comedy familiar to an audience living with COVID-19 safety measures.

The documentary follows the creation of that production, with input from conductor Robin Ticciati and singers Danielle de Niese and Kate Lindsey, as well as members of the creative team and Glyndebourne staff as they tackle everything from weather worries, to the conundrum of how to choreograph socially distanced fight scenes.

Glyndebourne’s summer season of outdoor events was in place of the 2020 Glyndebourne Festival which was cancelled due to the pandemic, threatening the livelihoods of its artists and seasonal staff, who make up around two thirds of the company’s workforce. Following the cancellation, Glyndebourne launched a COVID-19 Emergency Appeal through which it has been able to financially support everyone whose contract was cancelled.

Glyndebourne: No Ordinary Summer will be shown at 6.00pm on Sunday 20 December on Sky Arts (free to watch in the UK and Ireland on Freeview 11/Freesat 147/Sky 122/Virgin 123). Following the television broadcast, the documentary will be available to watch for free on the Glyndebourne YouTube channel from 6.00pm on Sunday 27 December until 12pm on Monday 4 January. 

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