Glyndebourne to stage its first ever production of Wagner’s Parsifal in 2025

Robin Ticciati will conduct Glyndebourne’s first production of Wagner’s Parsifal in 2025. Photographer Benjamin Ealovega

Glyndebourne’s first ever production of Wagner’s epic final opera Parsifal will be staged at Glyndebourne Festival 2025. Featuring a cast of nearly 200 performers and orchestra, this production will be a landmark moment in the company’s 90 year history. 

The major new staging will be conducted by Glyndebourne’s Music Director Robin Ticciati and directed by Dutch opera and theatre director Jetske Mijnssen, making her Glyndebourne directorial debut. The title role will be taken by leading Swedish tenor Daniel Johansson, with acclaimed Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek as Kundry, John Relyea as Gurnemanz, Johannes Martin Kränzle as Amfortas and Ryan Speedo Green as Klingsor.

Stephen Langridge, Artistic Director of Glyndebourne, said: ‘Glyndebourne’s co-founder, John Christie, was a passionate Wagnerian, and hoped to present Parsifal in the original opera house. In fact Wagner’s work wasn’t performed at Glyndebourne until 2003 when we staged Tristan und Isolde, followed in 2011 by David McVicar’s outstanding production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. It is a thrill to be adding Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, to the sequence. While the epic scale of the drama requires huge forces both on stage and in the pit, Wagner also exposes, often with painful intimacy, the characters’ internal and emotional landscape. Robin Ticciati’s natural affinity with Wagner’s work together with Jetske Mijnssen’s detailed exploration of the complex web of psychological relationships promise a powerful emotional-spiritual experience for audiences.’

Parsifal is one of two new productions at the 2025 Glyndebourne Festival. The second is a new production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, a work that has been at the heart of the repertoire at Glyndebourne since the first Festival in 1934, becoming the most performed opera in the company’s history. The new staging will be directed by French director Mariame Clément whose productions are known for their wit, intelligence and musicality; a fitting combination for an opera that is both charming and subversive in its portrayal of social hierarchies. 

Italian conductor Riccardo Minasi conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and an exciting young cast that includes Huw Montague Rendall and Louise Alder as Count and Countess Almaviva, Michael Nagl as Figaro and Anna El-Khashem as Susanna.

Four revivals see the return of some of Glyndebourne’s most successful recent productions including Barrie Kosky’s sensational staging of Handel’s Saulwhich has travelled to opera houses all around the world since it premiered at Glyndebourne in 2015. Ten years on, Christopher Purves and Iestyn Davies, who starred in the original production, return to the roles of Saul and David, alongside Sarah Brady as Merab and Soraya Mafi as Michal. Early music specialist Jonathan Cohen conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

The second opera of the season will be Annabel Arden’s lively and colourful production of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. First staged in 2016, this revival will be conducted by Rory Macdonald, leading the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a cast that includes Cecilia Molinari as Rosina, Germán Olvera as Figaro, Jonah Hoskins as Count Almaviva and Fabio Capitanucci as Dr Bartolo.

Also making a return is Richard Jones’s 2009 production of Falstaff, which transforms Verdi’s Elizabethan comedy into a quick-footed post-war romp. Sian Edwards conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a cast that includes Renato Girolami as Falstaff, Anna Princeva as Alice Ford and Rodion Pogossov as Ford. 

The final production of the 2025 Festival season sees the first revival of Damiano Michieletto’s intense 2021 production of Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová. Conductor Robin Ticciati reunites with Kateřina Kněžíková, who returns to the title role, and Nicky Spence, who performs the role of Boris following his appearance as Tichon in 2021. New to the cast are two eminent British singers with long-standing Glyndebourne connections – mezzo soprano Susan Bickley as Kabanicha and bass John Tomlinson as Dikój. Miles Mykkanen makes his Glyndebourne debut as Tichon.

Also announced today, are two new commissions receiving world premieres at Glyndebourne in 2025.

Richard Davidson-Houston, Managing Director of Glyndebourne, said: ‘Glyndebourne is experiencing excellent levels of audience interest and demand. Following a record-breaking start to public booking for the 2024 Festival, we have since achieved our sales target for the season several weeks before the first curtain goes up. The growing interest in opera at Glyndebourne, along with the commitment and loyalty of our Members and supporters, enables us to be bold and courageous in our programming. This is evident across our plan for 2025, which includes two brand new operas.’

The first of two new operas being performed at Glyndebourne in 2025 is an urgent new community opera from composer Jonathan Dove and librettist April De Angelis that looks at the climate emergency through the eyes of those whom it will affect the most – the young. Taking place on the main stage at Glyndebourne, Uprising will feature over 100 local amateur performers, including around 80 young people aged 14-19, being recruited from across Sussex this summer. The community participants will appear alongside six professional singers and musicians from the Glyndebourne Sinfonia in a production directed by Sinead O’Neill and conducted by Andrew Gourlay.

Glyndebourne’s second new commission of 2025 is an adaptation of the classic children’s book, The Railway Children. It will be presented as part of the opera house’s Autumn Season, a programme of opera, concerts, masterclasses and recitals that shine a spotlight on emerging talent and provide affordable access to exceptional opera and music. 

The Railway Children is a collaboration between composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and librettist Rachael Hewer. Based on the classic novel by Edith Nesbit, the opera focuses on the quest of the children’s mother to uncover the truth about the mysterious arrest and imprisonment of the father.