Glyndebourne's production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro
Black and white photograph
During the 1930s, Glyndebourne had an unrivalled reputation for its productions of Mozart’s operas. They can be swamped in the traditional grand opera houses and Glyndebourne, being a gracious country house in its own right, was an ideal setting for Mozart’s elegant and intimate studies of human nature. Under the baton of the great Fritz Busch and the stage direction of Carl Ebert, the productions achieved a perfection that can still be heard on recordings made at the time. The first Glyndebourne festival opened in 1934 with The Marriage of Figaro. This photograph shows the 1938 revival, with Audrey Mildmay as Susanna, Aulikki Rautawara as the Countess and John Brownlee, who had sung with Melba, as Count Almaviva. Audrey Mildmay had been a singer with the Carl Rosa Opera company when she first met John Christie, owner of the Glyndebourne estate. He was 48 and she was 30. They fell in love and he built the first theatre at Glyndebourne for her.