Longborough Festival Opera launches podcast and extraordinary generosity of the audience

The Longborough Festival Opera has launched a podcast series that will feature conversations with many of opera’s biggest stars. For more information about LFO’s podcasts click here

The company has released four episodes to this point, with three of them focused on Wagner’s Ring cycle.

In the first, journalist Richard Bratby, Longborough music director Anthony Negus, and bass-baritone Paul Carey Jones talk about Wotan’s journey through the tetralogy.

In a second episode, Writer and librettist Sophie Rashbrook, soprano Lee Bisset, and historian Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough analyse the role of women in the cycle.

The third installment features a conversation on The Cunning Little Vixen hosted by Richard Bratby.

Finally, in the fourth installment, Opera director and librettist Sir David Pountney and Longborough’s artistic director Polly Graham delve into the comedic aspects of Wagner’s magnum opus

Longborough artistic director Polly Graham notes: ‘What we hope to achieve from this podcast is a chance to open up some of the amazing works we had programmed for 2020, and to celebrate the thinking of the artists we work with. The lockdown has been hugely challenging for the performing arts, but it has given us the opportunity to think creatively about different experiences we can still offer audiences. We miss our audiences so much and cannot wait to connect with them again through live theatre and music. In the meantime, we hope this podcast will continue to feed their imagination. We are so grateful for their continued support at such a challenging time.’

Longborough Festival Opera audience raises over £300,000

Almost 1,000 audience members due to attend Longborough Festival Opera this season have chosen to donate the value of their tickets, generating a fund of over £300,000. Longborough would like to thank its audience and members for this extraordinary generosity.

Executive Director Jennifer Smith comments: ‘We are overwhelmed by the number of people who have chosen to donate some or all of the value of their tickets. We are so grateful to our audience and members for their incredible generosity at this difficult time.’

Of the £300,000 raised, £200,000 will go directly to the freelance artists involved in each of the 2020 festival’s four productions. The remainder will be used to develop further work for artists this year, as well as to help the organisation mitigate upcoming financial uncertainty. As a privately-funded charity, Longborough relies on ticket income to sustain its work.

Bass-baritone Paul Carey Jones, who would have made his Longborough debut as Wotan in Die Walküre this year, said: ‘This immensely thoughtful contribution is of such value, in terms of both financial and moral support, at this challenging time. Thank you so much to all who have contributed so generously in money, time and thought to the fund – your efforts are greatly appreciated.’

Artistic Director Polly Graham comments: ‘The majority of the money will go directly to the freelance artists involved in the 2020 festival, as a contribution towards the work they have lost with us. We hope that it will offer some comfort and support to those who have lost essential income.

Some will also be used to sustain the festival’s work as a whole, ensuring that we can welcome our artists and audience back as soon as we can. Thanks to this remarkable show of support from our audience, the show will go on.’

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