Glyndebourne has canceled its 2023 tour following a reduction to its Arts Council England (ACE) funding for touring and its learning and engagement work.
The company announced that while the application to join Arts Council England’s 2023 – 2026 National Portfolio was successful, the £800,000 annual funding offered for that period is at a lower level than applied for and it is half the amount that was received during the previous NPO funding period (2018 – 2022).
The budget cut also comes at a moment when costs are rising and follows a number of years over which the company has absorbed losses from its autumn tour, which has always been significantly underwritten by the Glyndebourne Festival.
In a statement, Richard Davidson-Houston, Managing Director of Glyndebourne, said, “The latest funding settlement from Arts Council England is devastating for many in the opera sector, which was targeted with significant cuts. It risks undermining the delicate ecosystem in which we operate. These cuts have been justified in part by the need to redirect public funding to support culture in the regions. In this context, the decision to reduce Glyndebourne’s funding by 50% appears contradictory because it has the direct, inevitable and foreseeable consequence of rendering our tour financially unsustainable.”
Artistic Director Stephen Langridge added, “It is a huge blow to have to cancel our tour in 2023 which would have taken us to Liverpool, Canterbury, Norwich and Milton Keynes. Alongside main stage performances, we had planned exciting opportunities for people in those locations to make music with Glyndebourne in their community. This would have seen hundreds of children singing with the Glyndebourne Chorus, workshops in care homes and chamber music recitals in universities. Sadly, this autumn we will not be able to offer these extraordinary opera experiences so widely across England.”
The company announced that full details of a revised program of activity at Glyndebourne autumn 2023 will be published in the coming weeks.